Traffic monitoring cameras have been installed near the Adani Carmichael mine site. Generic image used.
Traffic monitoring cameras have been installed near the Adani Carmichael mine site. Generic image used. istock

Adani cameras explained after activist complaint

ISAAC Regional Council has set the record straight on traffic monitoring cameras and equipment it installed near the Adani Carmichael Mine site after anti-coal protesters flagged some extraordinary concerns.

Maiwar MP Michael Berkman submitted a question on notice to Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey querying cameras and equipment installed at four sites up to 90km away from the Carmichael site.

Mr Berkman's line of questioning included who owned the equipment, whether the department had given permission for the monitoring systems to be installed at the locations, whether the systems used thermal sensors or face recognition technology and who had access to the monitoring feeds.

The Daily Mercury understands Mr Berkman raised the issue with Mr Bailey after anti-coal protesters flagged concerns with the Maiwar MP that the cameras were monitoring their protest activities.

The Adani Carmichael Coal Mine site.
The Adani Carmichael Coal Mine site.

They also feared the monitoring feed would be shared with police and Adani to crack down on illegal protests.

Mr Bailey was not able to respond because the cameras were on Isaac Regional Council roads.

The council said the cameras were installed for traffic management.

Isaac Mayor Anne Baker said the devices monitored traffic activity to ensure Adani paid for any upgrade or maintenance necessary as a result of its mine traffic.

"To ensure asset integrity is maintained, the data provided by traffic monitoring devices informs council of the volume of vehicle movements and possible degradation of road networks," Cr Baker said.

"Images and data from cameras is only intended for the original purpose and council strictly adheres to privacy laws.

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker.
Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker.

"In ongoing efforts to reduce costs incurred by Isaac Region, there will be an expectation of industry to fund these installations."

She said the technology did not have capacity to gather information beyond basic road use data such as vehicle size, type and speed.

An Adani spokeswoman said the Indian miner was aware of the cameras.

"Adani understands the installation of the cameras is to monitor the traffic use and condition of council assets being used by the project," she said.

The council will soon install signage to alert motorists to the use of the devices.