The controversial CCTV cameras in Nowra’s CBD will be back up and running this afternoon, after the NSW Government passed an exemption to allow local councils to continue to use the cameras.
The Nowra cameras, owned by Shoalhaven City Council and monitored by NSW Police, were switched off two weeks ago after the Administrative Decisions Tribunal ruled privacy laws had been breached under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.
However, Premier Barry O’Farrell immediately pledged to intervene and an amendment to the act was officially gazetted at 2pm today.
It exempts councils from Section 11, allowing them to collect personal information by using a CCTV camera that the council has installed for the purpose of filming a public place.
Councils are also exempt from Section 18 of the Act, with respect to disclosure to NSW Police of personal information by way of live transmission from a CCTV camera.
Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna Gash said the council hoped to have its cameras back on by late this afternoon.
‘‘I think this is a wonderful quick result, which had to happen and is necessary not just for our council but other councils as well,’’ she said.
‘‘It means that detection [of crime] will continue to take place if anybody is doing the wrong thing.’’
‘‘People who are not doing the wrong thing don’t need to worry because it’s a deterrent.’’