Parents will have to buy a “media pass” and possibly pass a background check before they’re allowed to photograph their kids playing in a junior rugby league competition, it has been claimed.
According to the Daily Telegraph, families may need to spend up to $80 to register for the pass, and it will also include applying for a Working With Children Check.
The strict measures are reportedly being rolled out by the Canterbury-Bankstown District Junior Rugby League competition, and once registered, parents will receive a photo ID so they can take photos of the match without running into trouble.
The news outlet claims other parents have been urged to act as “watchdogs”, to ensure others aren’t taking photos without permission.
The publication has obtained a copy of one of the passes, allegedly sent by Moorebank Rams officials, which states photos and videos cannot be uploaded on to YouTube or social media.
“The use of a Media Pass is still at the discretion of ground managers depending on which ground you are playing at,” it warned, before adding: “You will not receive your media pass until your WWC Number has been checked by Canterbury District JRL.”
The NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian, who issued WWCC cards, told the news outlet the move is “unnecessary”.
While taking photos of kids in a public place is currently legal in NSW, private venues hosting sports events can ban photos at their own discretion. Meanwhile, a NSW Junior Rugby League spokeswoman added that their guidelines state only those who directly interact with kids need background checks – not spectators.
The claims have sparked a strong reaction online, with one person writing on Twitter: “How sad…great work society!!”
While another added: “The world has has gone crazy & none of these measures are deterrents for undesirables. All this does it make #children feel that they have a problem & puts more pressure on #parents both #financially & #mentalhealth or is it just a #government #revenue raiser?”
Meanwhile one wrote: “Madness,” and another appeared to compare it to George Orwell’s famous novel ‘1984’, depicting a utopian future under the watchful eye of ‘Big Brother’.