Premier Barry O’Farrell yesterday stated that CCTV in Nowra’s central business district might be restored by as early as next week.

This comes after the Administrative Decisions Tribunal ruled that the cameras, owned by the Shoalhaven City Council, were breaching privacy laws under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.

The Illawarra Mercury reported Mr. O’Farrell’s comments on the issue, “The NSW government is now drafting a regulation to provide appropriate exemptions under privacy laws to allow local councils to continue using CCTV,” he said.
“It is expected the regulation will be in place by the end of next week and will mean the CCTV in the Shoalhaven can then be switched back on.
“CCTV is a vital tool in the fight against crime and we are determined to ensure it remains so.”

The Mercury also asked Kiama MP Gareth Ward his opinion. “Like many local residents and small business owners in the Nowra CBD, I was outraged by the findings of the ADT in relation to privacy based on the gripe of one individual,” he said.

However, Adam Bonner, who brought the matter to the ADT, voiced a different attitude. Mr. Bonner labeled the decision by Mr. O’Farrell’s decision as a jump on the “populist bandwagon of law and order”.

“It also shows contempt for the ADT. Why have the ADT to hear all the evidence and make a decision in the first place?

“This also rewards incompetency.

“The ADT found the cameras were recording images that were inaccurate and incomplete and the council would have discovered this if they had conducted due diligence and checked the functions of the camera.”

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