Arts Freedom Australia rally,Campbell’s Cove, Sydney, Sunday 29 August

Arts Freedom Australia (AFA) will hold a rally near Campbells Cove on Sydney Harbour on Sunday, August 29th between 10am and 12 noon to make the Australian public aware of this threat to our freedom of expression.

Australian photographers are losing their rights to that freedom of expression. Whether you are a full-time professional, part-time or strictly amateur, every person with a camera can be threatened by unjust laws and regulations.

“We must be the only country in the world where you could get a criminal record for taking a picture of a rock,” said Ken Duncan, the Chairman of Arts Freedom Australia.

So Ken is asking photographers and other concerned citizens to protest against the undemocratic regulations restricting film-making and photography in so many of our public places.

AFA has recently completed a comparative study of legislation and policies imposed on photographers and film-makers within Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America. The result of this study clearly demonstrates that the rights of Australian photographers and film-makers are being seriously affected by a myriad of rules and regulations imposing prohibitive restrictions, high fees, and bureaucratic application protocols.

By comparison, America’s national parks allow photography in all places where the public can access.  What a refreshingly common sense approach – but it seems OUR bureaucrats are too greedy to allow common sense to the fore.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Australia signed in 1980) states everyone has the right to freedom of expression and the right to impart information and ideas of all kinds, whether in writing or print, in the form of art, or through any other media.  So why are we being so restricted?

Landscape photographers such as Olegas Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis helped to foster our pro-conservation mindset, while photographers like Max Dupain produced iconic images which will be treasured for the future. Today they might not even be grated a permit to take those photos!

So if you want the opportunity and freedom to photograph Uluru, the national parks of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, the Sydney Harbour Foreshore, Bondi Beach and other Aussie ‘icons’, without the onerous process of applying for a permit and paying overlarge fees, then you should attend and make your presence felt and your opinion known.

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