Surf Life Saving Clubs along the Great Ocean Road between Torquay and Apollo Bay have ignored demands from the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority (GORCAPA) to switch off dozens of CCTV surf cameras, installed without consent.
The Marine and Coastal Act requires both owners and hosts of the CCTV surf surveillance cameras installed on Crown Land, including at surf lifesaving clubs, to apply for permission to operate from the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority (GORCAPA).
GORCAPA say that there is no agreement for any CCTVs to operate on any public land under their management. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) also say there have been no Marine and Coastal Act (MACA) consents granted for any of Victoria’s surf cameras, some which have been in places for more than a decade. While all Surf Life Saving Clubs between Torquay and Apollo Bay have been asked to switch off their surf cams, most remain live.
“We are continuing to work with lease holders to raise awareness of our CCTV policy and leaseholder obligations. Where we identify cameras that have not received our approval, they will be decommissioned,” said GORCAPA operations director Daniel Aitken.
While GORCAPA recognises the benefits of CCTV usage for life saving activities and as a deterrent to vandalism and theft, they hold concerns about footage being sold or shared with a third party without correct permits in place.
Cameras that do comply with GORCAPA’s CCTV policy must seek immediate approval under the Marine and Coastal Act.