Title: during the masterplanning of this precinct at Northlakes it made sense to co-locate the senior campus of the high school with the Council library and recreation buildings. During my recent visit I was questioned about taking photos, I couldn't access several of the lane-ways due to School security and the school has taken over the library. All unfortunate side effects of a fundamentally good initiative?
Posted by: Andrew Hammonds
Tuesday 17 January, 2012
I take a lot of photos to demonstrate the fundamentals, principles and qualities we are sharing here at Placefocus online and in our urban design and placemaking training courses. This can cause some grief with people. I have written about my experience before in Tahir (Liberation) Square + Retail 'Town Centres'. Late last year I was keen on photographing Pathways at Northlakes - a project I worked on at while at HASSELL.
Importantly, this project includes a Senior College of the local High School. Having assumed I was in a public street, I ended up taking photos of the students playing sport on the oval we had planned. The teacher was concerned so I gave her my business card and said to get in contact with me. Ironically she said you can't take photos in streets - only in private places like the Westfield Mall! The principal then called me and said she was reporting me to the police! I rang the local police station and spoke to the relevant officer and we agreed to delete any photos showing kids. He also suggested that I can't take photos of anyone in public place without their consent. I raised the example of people taking photos in Queen St Mall - how do you get consent?
Based on all of these different views - I sought legal clarification from my Local Member Kate Jones. Her office was able to get this reassuring advice from the Senior Sergeant - Brief Manager of the Brisbane West District, Queensland Police Service.
The Criminal Code of Queensland provides the following law (extract) regarding photography etc in public or communal areas. There is no specific law which prohibits any person from photographing/recording images taken in a public area. The described activity does not fall within the ambit of public nuisance, as provided by the Summary Offences Act 2005. I have not touched upon the Commonwealth legislation relevant to suspected terrorism activities as there is nothing in the original message to indicate any such concern.
227A Observations or recordings in breach of privacy
(1) A person who observes or visually records another person, in circumstances where a reasonable adult would expect to be afforded privacy–
(a) without the other person's consent; and
(b) when the other person–
(i) is in a private place; or
(ii) is engaging in a private act and the observation or visual recording is made for the purpose of observing or visually recording a private act;
commits a misdemeanour.
Maximum penalty–2 years imprisonment.
Examples of circumstances where a reasonable adult would expect to be afforded privacy–
1 A person changing in a communal change room at a swimming pool may expect to be observed by another person who is also changing in the room but may not expect to be visually recorded.
2 A person who needs help to dress or use a toilet may expect to be observed by the person giving the help but may not expect to be observed by another person.
I trust this information is of assistance and satisfies your request for advice.