News

Lawyers and Coalition at odds on CCTV cameras

Law experts are questioning the value of a Coalition pledge to spend $50 million on CCTV coverage if elected.
Law experts are questioning the value of a Coalition pledge to spend $50 million on CCTV coverage if elected. Karleila Thomsen

A LEADING lawyer's group has cautioned against a Coalition promise to spend millions on close surveillance if elected to government in 2013.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance says that the pledge to spend $50 million for additional CCTV cameras around Australia to monitor people's movements does not take account of privacy concerns and potential misuse of cameras to profile groups and individuals.

Opposition frontbencher and Nationals Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, this week outlined a scheme where North Coast communities will be able to apply for crime prevention infrastructure such as better lighting, as well as fixed and mobile CCTV coverage.

He said the money would help tackle crime hotspots and help deal with the problems of gangs, graffiti and alcohol-fuelled violence.

But ALA spokesman and criminal barrister, Greg Barns, said the plan to monitor people's lives came at a cost to civil liberties and created the potential for human rights violations.

"The cameras were likely to be misused with innocent people and community groups likely to be unlawfully surveilled, on occasions, breaching privacy rights," he said.

"A line definitely needs to be drawn in the sand as to where these cameras are installed and public accountability for authorities accessing footage without due cause.

"Such 'reason for access' provisions had been introduced into state-based police forces to ensure police officers did not abuse their abilities to surveil and this should also be standard practice with any footage viewed."

The Coalition plainly disagrees.

"The best way to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour is to prevent it happening," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"The prevention of crime means less senseless deaths and needless injuries and it means reduced costs in the justice system."



Coffs Coast workers unhappy about penalty rate cuts

BOILING POINT: Coffs Coast workers are largely unhappy with the cut in Sunday and public holiday penalty rates.

Workers outraged by cuts which could cost some $6000 a year

Look out for clues to unlock game blues

MATCH THE HATCH: Attack wings onto skirted lures to make them imitate flying fish when game fish are busting through schools of them.

Follow the old fly fishing adage of "match the hatch”.

Coffs Hotel celebrates 80 years

IN THE BAR: Coffs Hotel Crew 1930's style. Ray Alaban, Sunday Faynes, 90-year-old Alby McLean (who worked at the hotel when he was 20), Wally the jester (at rear) and publican Marty Philips welcome all to come celebrate.

The doors first opened at this beloved family-owned local in 1937

Local Partners

Coffs Hotel celebrates 80 years

She has seen good times and bad. Fire, flood and the forming of friendships are all part of the history of this distinctive brick building in the middle of town


REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

GET a sneak peek at Green Day's American Idiot The Musical as we go behind the scenes to meet the stars at a QPAC rehearsal.

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

Reality TV show gives Maryborough a boost

*WARNING EMBARGOED until 9.15pm Monday January 30* Sean Hollands and Susan Rawlings pictured after their wedding on the TV series Married At First Sight. Supplied by Channel 9.

Maryborough looks good on reality TV show.

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

LOVERS: Grant and Chris have been together for more than three years, and Chris' parents refuse to acknowledge their son's fiance.

Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

A taste of the country life without the hard work

HERITAGE PARK: This home on the cover of the Real Estate Property Guide has everything you love about semi-rural living.

Get a taste of the country life without all the hard work

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!