New inquiry to investigate unauthorised surveillance activity of landowners

A new Upper House select committee has been established to inquire into and report on landowner protection from unauthorised filming or surveillance.

The committee was established to investigate concerns about intrusion and trespass taking place on farms for the purpose of capturing unauthorised surveillance material and disseminating it through traditional and social media. Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party MLC Robert Borsak was appointed as Chair of the committee with Animal Justice Party MLC Mark Pearson also be appointed to the committee.

Mr. Borsak said “there is an increasing issue of animal welfare advocates trespassing on land to try to expose animal cruelty, which can have a significantly detrimental impact on farming businesses. This committee will examine this complex issue to determine how the welfare of animals and the rights of land and business owners can both be protected.”

Mr. Borsak continued “the inquiry will examine the extent of existing protections for landowners, the appropriateness of penalties for offenders, and the self-incrimination implications for individuals who disclose unauthorised surveillance material to authorities.”

The committee will also investigate the impact of the rapidly changing media environment of surveillance activity for landholders. Mr. Borsak said, “social media platforms like Facebook Live have changed the way unauthorised recordings and surveillance material can be disseminated and the committee will look into the implications of this.”

The committee welcomes the participation of interested stakeholders and the community. Submissions to the inquiry are due by 8 July 2018 and can be lodged via the inquiry webpage.