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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Justice and Attorney-General
    The Honourable Linda Lavarch

    AUSTRALIAN STATES AND TERRITORIES TO LOOK AT ADOPTING QUEENSLAND SECRET FILMING LAWS

    Justice and Attorney-General
    The Honourable Linda Lavarch

    Friday, July 28, 2006

    AUSTRALIAN STATES AND TERRITORIES TO LOOK AT ADOPTING QUEENSLAND SECRET FILMING LAWS

    All Australian States and Territories will look at adopting national uniform privacy laws based on secret filming and “upskirting” reforms passed late last year by Queensland, Attorney-General Linda Lavarch said today.

    Mrs Lavarch said a meeting of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) in Melbourne today agreed that the Queensland law provided the best model to address uniform national privacy issues related to secret filming.

    Queensland made it an offence in December to film or observe anyone engaged in private acts, such as undressing or showering, without their consent.

    It also made “upskirting”, where a person uses a concealed camera to film up under someone else’s clothing, such as a woman’s skirt, an offence.

    Anyone caught distributing images or visual recordings of private acts also commits an offence under the Queensland Criminal Code.

    “It is gratifying to see the Queensland legislation being recognised as a national model to deal with secret filming,” Mrs Lavarch said.

    “The rapid growth of technology, such as digital cameras, mobile phone cameras and the internet, has meant that privacy issues have been highlighted throughout Australia and the world,” she said.

    “Prior to this law, in Queensland there was nothing to stop a person covertly video-recording the activities of another person in private places, such as bathrooms, toilets and change rooms.”

    A maximum penalty of two years’ jail applies to secret filming and upskirting, and to distributing these private images, under the Queensland Criminal Code.

    Over 10 people have been charged under the new Queensland law since December.

    A SCAG working paper will develop proposals for the uniform national laws and SCAG will consider the matter again at its next meeting in November.

    Media inquiries: Paul Childs, Linda Lavarch’s office, on 0407 131 654.