Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Photographers Rights

This is now a serious issue. Have you the time to give and protect our rights as photographers?

Guest Post:
Earle Bridger
 I am organising a field trip to Sydney to take part in a rally that will protest against the continuing harassment and prevention of photographers taking photographs in public places. Read the press release below for details.
The coach will take 48 people from QCA Brisbane and pick up from QCA Gold Coast. It will leave AM on Friday 27th August and return PM on Monday 30th August.

The cost of the coach per person is $140. We will stay in hostel accommodation in Sydney ( at $20 per night (including breakfast).

If you are interested let me know by Thursday so that I can secure bookings.

Earle Bridger

You should also Google details of similar action taken in the United Kingdom at

Rally for Concerned Photographers

Ken Duncan is organising a Sydney rally to raise awareness about the eroding rights of photographers in Australia.

Australian photographers are losing their rights to freedom of expression. And it doesn‟t matter whether they are full-time professional, part-time or strictly amateur, as every person who has a camera can be threatened with unjust laws and regulations.

“We must be the only country in the world where you could get a criminal record for taking a picture of a rock,” said Ken Duncan, the Chairman of Arts Freedom Australia.

“And because of this shameful situation, I am asking photographers and other concerned citizens to protest against the undemocratic regulations which now restrict film-making and photography in many of our public places,” Mr Duncan added.

To this end, Arts Freedom Australia (AFA) will hold a rally near Campbells Cove on Sydney Harbour on Sunday, August 29th between 10am and 12 noon to reinforce its message. “We need to make the Australian public aware of this threat to our freedoms,” Mr Duncan said.

“Because I am sure that they will support our campaign.” Founded in 2004, Arts Freedom Australia is an umbrella body representing Australia‟s major photographic associations as well as many individual photographers. AFA was formed because of an industry-wide concern about government policies that were turning Australia into a land of “forbidden horizons”.

AFA has recently completed a comparative study of legislation and policies imposed on photographers and film-makers within Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America. “The result of this study demonstrates that the rights of Australian photographers and film-makers are being seriously affected by a myriad of rules and regulations that impose prohibitive restrictions, high fees, and bureaucratic application protocols,” Mr Duncan said.

“What we should have in this country are simple rules – like they have in America‟s national parks – which allow photography to be carried out in all places where the public can go.” Mr Duncan began his career as a landscape photographer more than thirty years ago at a time when access to beaches, national parks and other public lands was not an issue. “I was very lucky that I began my photographic career at a time when there were much greater freedoms than there are today,” Mr Duncan said. “But I want the young photographers of today and those who will succeed them in the decades to come to enjoy those same freedoms that I once had.”

Mr Duncan cites the photographic restrictions at Uluru, the “photographic licences‟ required in the national parks of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority Regulation 2006 and the onerous Use of Public Open Space regulations of Sydney‟s Waverley Council as attacks on freedom of expression.

“Australia has been a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights since 1980 and one of the articles of the ICCPR states that everyone has the right to freedom of expression and the right to impart information and ideas of all kinds whether it‟s in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media,” Mr Duncan said.

“However the bureaucrats who have drafted the new regulations restricting photography have clearly forgotten that”. Mr Duncan said that landscape photographers such as Olegas Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis helped to instil a pro-conservation mindset amongst Australia‟s people, while other photographers such as Max Dupain had produced iconic images that would be treasured for many decades to come. But he said that unless the draconian laws that were currently in place were not rolled back that all types of photography would be affected and that our society as a whole would be diminished as a result.

For more information or to arrange interviews, call Stephanie Wilson on (02) 4307 8402 or email
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