DSLR Photography Forum

Full Version: Snappers to defy police ban - Melbourne, Australia
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
POLICE directives about what could and could not be photographed were an abuse of power and should be ignored, Liberty Victoria has said.
The civil liberties body made the statement after a report in a Melbourne newspaper said a member of the Geelong Camera Club received a visit from police after he photographed gas storage cylinders at the city's Shell oil refinery.

Send us your photos »

Club member Hans Kawitski was told not to photograph industrial installations and was ordered to inform members of the camera club to follow his lead.

Liberty Victoria said its advice to photographers would be to ignore the directive.

"The police have got no place making such warnings," president Brian Walters SC said.

"Merely to threaten is exceeding police powers and is an abuse of power.

"If you were a serious terrorist you wouldn't be openly taking photographs. Taking photos of public objects is a normal and quite understandable part of a modern society."

Mr Walters said police had been spooked by politicians and had acquired "an inflated fear of terrorism".

"We currently have thousands of cameras set up to watch citizens, but if citizens themselves take photos, the authorities take that as some sort of risk," he said.

Geelong Camera Club vice-president Frank Sady said the club was having its first meeting tonight after a summer recess.

He said he would be advising them against following the police orders.

"Until such time as there's a law (we won't be doing anything differently)," he said.

"We're not doing any harm and we're not hurting anybody."

Mr Sady said the directive reminded him of visiting Poland when the secret police were stopping photography.

"No terrorist is going to hang around the front gate (of Shell's refinery) taking photos," he said.

"It's just the freedom to do what's reasonable in our pursuit of photography. We take photos for aesthetic purposes, not for ulterior motives."

The Australian Photographic Society said the incident was sad but not surprising.

Senior vice-president Bert Hoveling said he had been taking a series of photos at Eastland Shopping Centre when he was "hauled off by security to management".

"They said, this is company policy that you can't take photos inside Eastland shopping centre," he said.

"We have to run this fine line now between getting the photos we want for enjoying our photography or entering competition and not transgressing local policies or laws."

Source: news.com.au