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Secret Photos Of Kids To Be Banned
Photographers would be banned from taking pictures of children
without parental approval under a proposed crackdown following
the discovery of a website with hundreds of images of minors taken
secretly at Queensland's parks and playgrounds.
Queensland Attorney-General Rod Welford yesterday confirmed the
Government was considering the plan, which could also involve
making it illegal to post "in- offensive pictures" of children
on websites in any way linked to Internet pornographers.
The mooted overhaul follows revelations Brisbane resident Paul
Michael Bartram had secretly taken pictures and videos of Queensland
children and posted them on his website.
Police are now investigating possible links from the website,
found during a Courier-Mail investigation, to an international
But police have not laid any charges against Mr Bartram – who has
denied any links to child pornography – because the website did
not contain nudity or pornography.
Mr Welford said: "There were several issues that came out of the
articles in The Courier-Mail last week as to whether our existing
laws need to be expanded to look at situations where the photographs
of a child are, of themselves, not offensive.
"I think the public might want further controls on so-called
inoffensive photographs that are being taken for improper or
"And that means if the pictures are put on a website that is
explicitly linked to sexually explicitly or child pornography
Mr Welford said the "more difficult issue" was that of privacy
and the possible legal need for photographers to seek permission
of a guardian or parent before taking a child's picture.
"That is an issue to do with privacy laws and I think that could
be further examined."
The proposed legal changes would come on top of moves by Australia's
attorneys-general to tackle the proliferation of cameras in mobile
phones in recent years.
Last year, the state and federal attorneys-general commissioned a
working party to develop options to deal with mobile phones that will
be considered at a meeting on the Gold Coast in March.
Liberals acting leader Bruce Flegg yesterday welcomed Mr Welford's
comments, saying more needed to be done to protect children's rights.
Queensland police said they were still investigating Mr Bartram.
Separately yesterday, it emerged that a 20-year-old man had been
reported for indecent behaviour after taking "inappropriate" pictures
with a mobile phone of small children at a shopping centre in Adelaide.
He will be summonsed to appear in court.
Courier Mail (1-2-2005)
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