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You can film rangers, and they can ask you not to

By johnboy 7 August 2012 25

zed signage

We were somewhat intrigued by the Canberra Times piece on the Liberals getting pinged yet again for illegal signage.

Back in 2008 we took a long hard look at the Liberal’s complete inability to have any respect for the law. So this was no surprise. (Albeit strange for a party incessantly banging on about getting tougher on offenders who are not themselves)

But the run in with the ranger had this bit of strangeness:

Liberals candidate for Ginninderra Jacob Vadakkedathu last night confirmed he had been approached by the ranger and one of his volunteers had attempted to film the officer until he presented his identification.

A Territory and Municipal Services spokesman said the ranger ”felt uncomfortable” that a mobile phone was being used to film the conversation and asked the volunteer to switch it off.

Now for those who are curious we have asked TAMS what the go is with filming their rangers and got this response:

There is no legislative mechanism for a ranger to compel someone to stop filming them.

However a ranger, like any other person in a public place, has the right to request that they are not filmed.

And you have the right to keep on filming them.

[Pictured in 2008, Liberal signage a good 70 metres inside the exclusion zone of the polling place in the background]

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25 Responses to
You can film rangers, and they can ask you not to
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1337Hax0r 2:45 pm 09 Aug 12

Damn. I thought this was going to be a story about Ned Kelly, Ben Hall or at least Chuck Norris and some guys from Texas.

Grrrr 1:35 pm 09 Aug 12

grunge_hippy said :

There are still stickers from the last election for some female liberal candidate (who’s name escapes me momentarily, must have pushed it that far down into my subconscious) that are still prolific on the back of street signs all around Tuggeranong. I wonder if that gets done for some sort of littering/illegal signage?

Yes – for starters, signs may only be placed for 8 weeks:
http://www.elections.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/7952/Movable_signs_in_public_places_factsheet.pdf

Skidbladnir 9:17 pm 07 Aug 12

For anybody wanting to test the theory, the phrasing is roughly:

A citizen’s right to document government officers and officials, including law enforcement officers of all varieties, either in the discharge of their duties or in the execution of their delegated powers, but especially as it occurs in a public space, is a well-established and fundamental element of modern democratic dialogue when performing critical assessments of our system of responsible government in Australia.
Assembling a record of such affairs not only allows the public opportunities to defend public officials from introduction of a false record into any proceedings, but also allows further public review and analysis of incidents should such a record be required.

As such, members of the public or persons acting in the public interest have a right to record the actions and processes of government officials in a format that may readily be disseminated to others, as it serves the interest of relevant parties in that it defines their roles, documents their engagements and participation with those same parties, and that the subsequent transmission of this document to others assists in furthering the political education of others about available methods of interaction with officials in both governmental and public affairs.

For further clarification of this topic, please consult with your legal support section on the significance of Australian Capital Television v Commonwealth (1992), specifically Paragraphs 38 and 39 by High Court Chief Justice Sir Anthony Frank Mason in this decision, before even trying to touch this camera again, officer.

grunge_hippy 8:26 pm 07 Aug 12

There are still stickers from the last election for some female liberal candidate (who’s name escapes me momentarily, must have pushed it that far down into my subconscious) that are still prolific on the back of street signs all around Tuggeranong. I wonder if that gets done for some sort of littering/illegal signage?

Richard Bender 8:08 pm 07 Aug 12

“However a ranger, like any other person in a public place, has the right to request that they are not filmed.”

Except a ranger isn’t like any other person in a public place. In this circumstance, the ranger was acting as a public official enforcing local laws. While they shouldn’t be subject to undue harassment, they should not be afraid of having their actions subject to scrutiny. It’s called accountability.

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