SLSA draft photography policy on Australian beaches - deadline 31 March 08

Started Mar 10, 2008 | Discussions thread
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LB_55 Forum Member • Posts: 66
SLSA draft photography policy on Australian beaches - deadline 31 March 08

The Surf Life Saving Association of Australia has produced a "discussion draft photography policy" to guide its membership on how to respond to photography on Australian beaches. Deadline for comment is 31 March 2008 to Sean O'Connell, Communications Manager, SLSA. However at present I cannot locate a copy of the policy on the slsa web site http://www.slsa.com.au/default.aspx?s=mediacontacts

Sean has sent me a pdf copy of the draft but I don't have the means to upload it to a web site. I will post his invitation to submit comment in a separate comment to this thread.

The opening Overview of the document states: "Regulation of unauthorised photography represents a significant challenge for organisations such as SLSA. Rapid advances in digital camera, mobile phone, and internet technologies have led to increased concerns for the privacy of SLSA members, particularly children, who may inadvertently become the objects of unauthorised photography".

The document goes on to clarify that photography in public places is a legal activity, and encourages SLSA members to approach and behave courteously towards photographers whom they believe are acting suspiciously, and to remain calm and reasonable. It stresses in bold type that SLSA members are not empowered to confiscate or attempt to confiscate a camera. This is encouraging news to anyone who, like myself, has had a SLSA member become confrontational in the mistaken assumption that photography on a public beach is a suspicious activity and the photographer a legitimate target for threatening behaviour based on vague fears about "photography", and "the internet".

However the Overview and some other bits of the draft policy may give the impression that photography on Australian beaches is subject to regulation and requires authorisation.

Such impressions won't make life easy if you like wandering along the beach taking candids and SLSA members who patrol Australian beaches put their interpretation of this policy into practice. It is in our interest as photographers to submit comment by 31 March so that the final policy gives due regard to the legal rights of photographers, and does not give SLSA members (or the public who read this policy) that photography is somehow a suspicious activity that needs regulation.

I encourage all interested photographers to obtain a copy of the draft policy and submit comments by the 31 March deadline.
--
Lynn
Sydney

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