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State Parliament Must Remove HikVision Cameras

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Friday, 10 February 2023

Tags: Parliament

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

The Albanese Government’s commitment yesterday to remove Chinese-made security cameras from all government buildings due to potential security risk, sends a message to the Tasmanian Parliament that cannot be ignored.

The Speaker of the House of Assembly and the President of the Legislative Council must direct the removal of all HikVision cameras in the Parliament precinct.  

The concerns about using HikVision cameras have been well-documented for years, which is why the Greens were opposed to them being installed in Parliament and its surrounds the first place. We understood that if there was any question of a security risk, there should be no place for these cameras inside the Parliament, Ministerial and MP offices, or on the lawns.

We raised this issue with Parliament officials years ago, and in 2020 made a direct representation to the Parliament’s presiding officers. We weren’t taken seriously at the time, and neither were the fears of the Tasmanian Tibetan community, many of whom fled Chinese Government oppression for safety in Tasmania.

Now the Australian Government has followed the lead of the USA and the UK in directing the removal of HikVision and Dahua cameras from their buildings for security reasons, the Tasmanian Parliament needs to reassess its position.

Speaker Mark Shelton and Legislative Council President Craig Farrell have so far refused to answer renewed questions about the spyware inside and outside the Parliament. That’s just not good enough.

The Parliament and its Presiding Officers need to recognise that HikVision cameras are a genuine security concern. Not only that, they’re an instrument of oppression used by the Chinese Government against Uyghurs, Tibetans, Hong Kongers and Chinese dissidents.

The Federal Government is removing HikVision cameras from all government buildings for good reason, and this Chinese spyware must also be removed from the home of our State’s democracy.