Surveillance / security cameras, CCTV and drones

In This Section

The inappropriate installation of surveillance cameras can impact on the privacy and amenity of neighbouring residents. Council encourages users of any surveillance / security cameras, closed circuit television (CCTV) or drones/remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) with recording equipment to be aware of the impact they may have on neighbouring residents and not use these devices in a way that would impact on residents or visitors to our municipality.

Surveillance / security cameras and CCTV on private property

If you have questions relating to surveillance / security cameras or CCTV on private property, a few options you could consider are:

  • The Surveillance Devices Act 2007 regulates the installation, use, maintenance and retrieval of surveillance devices.
  • If the property is also being used as a workplace, you could consider whether the Workplace Surveillance Act 2005 is relevant.
  • If the property is part of a strata title, you could enquire as to whether CCTV is contravening a by-law.
  • If you have issues with the operators of CCTV on private property, you can seek mediation at a Community Justice Centre – 1800 990 777
  • If the footage is being used for indecent purposes you can report it to the NSW Police.
  • Visit the Information and Privacy Commission NSW (IPC) website for further information.

Drones

The use of drones/RPA is on the rise in Australia. To protect yourself and other people's safety when you fly a drone/RPA, you must follow the Civil Aviation Safety Authority’s (CASA) standard operating conditions. These conditions include the following rules, but it is your responsibility to refer to the latest official CASA conditions:

You must:

  • only fly one drone at a time
  • always fly your drone within visual line-of-sight — this means:
    • flying only during the day
    • avoid flying in cloud, fog or heavy rain
    • you can see your drone with your own eyes at all times — not by using binoculars or watching a video screen
    • not flying behind trees, buildings or anything else that stops you seeing your drone at all times.

You must not fly your drone:

  • higher than 120 m (400 ft) above ground level — that's about the height of a 35-storey building or length of a football field
  • closer than 30 m to people — other than those helping to fly or navigate your drone
  • over or above people at any time or height
  • in a way that creates a hazard to another person, aircraft or property
  • near emergency situations
  • in prohibited or restricted airspace (use a CASA-verified drone safety app to help you)
  • closer than 5.5 km to a controlled aerodrome or airfield (usually those with a control tower), if your drone weighs more than 100g.

You can report drone operations you think might have broken the standard operating conditions to CASA. However, they cannot enforce privacy related matters.

Commercial drone use in the Woollahra Municipality

  • All commercial drone/RPA use in the municipality, regardless of size or type, requires Woollahra Municipal Council approval to take-off or land on public land. Please register with CASA online.
  • Permits will not be issued to unlicensed operators even if you are proposing to use a drone which is under 2kg.
  • Commercial operators of a drone/RPA are required to follow the CASA standard operating conditions for commercial use of drones/RPA in public spaces.
  • Commercial operators must adhere to Woollahra Council’s Conditions for Operating a drone/RPA
  • Commercial operators must not operate your RPA over Gap Park due to CCTV safety operations.

Visit the CASA website for more information about drone/RPA use in Australia.

Filming and photography

View further Information about filming and photography in the municipality.