City of Salisbury council meeting on Smart Cities CCTV cameras cancelled after blackout
A council meeting meant to discuss a controversial plan to boost CCTV in Adelaide’s northern suburbs was canceled last night due to a blackout.
Key points: A leaflet has been distributed comparing a plan for more CCTV cameras to an “open-air prison”. About 100 protesters turned up to the council meeting, which was postponed until tonight due to a blackout last night
About 100 protesters turned up at Salisbury City Council chambers last night to oppose the council’s “Smart Cities” program to introduce more CCTV cameras in the area, some of which will track people using services such as parking and pedestrian crossings.
However, the power went out before the meeting was to start and it could not be held.
About 1,200 other properties were also affected.
The council says the cameras do not use facial recognition technology.
Mayor Gillian Aldridge said councilors were disappointed as the highly anticipated meeting was ready to go.
“There was no way we could hold a council meeting for many, many different reasons, one of the main ones being safety issues because the building would have heated up,” she said.
“With the big building, there’s a backup generator, but it only lasted so long in that building.”
The meeting was adjourned until tonight.
Salisbury Mayor Gillian Aldridge says there was no way the meeting could go ahead. (ABC News) Councilor calls for policy
The protesters were from the No Smart Cities Action Group (NOSCAG), which recently delivered tens of thousands of leaflets across Salisbury comparing the Smart Cities program to an “open-air prison” with no privacy.
The group used a photo of Senator Alex Antic in the flyer, but he said it was used without his knowledge or consent.
He opposed a similar plan in the town of Unley.
Part of a flyer objecting to the City of Salisbury’s Smart Cities program. (Reddit)
Councilor Grace Bawden said she was not a member of NOSCAG but agreed with his views and his right to protest.
She said that although the council claims that facial recognition will not be used, she believes a policy should be introduced.
“These technologies, the smart technologies, have a capability for facial recognition,” she said.
“As long as there is a capability for it, it can be used at any time.
“We don’t have policy in place; that’s the point of the board — to put a policy in place to protect the public.”
Before the meeting, Ms Aldridge was concerned about the protest disrupting the meeting, as happened two weeks ago at the City of Onkaparinga.
Last year, Adelaide City Council voted unanimously not to include facial recognition technology in new security cameras being installed across the city centre.
The council has written to SA Police asking if they could delay the use of facial recognition technology if it is installed in city cameras until security measures are in place, but the police have indicated they are likely to still use the technology.