04 July 2007

Urban Eyeball

The following contribution was received from Sophy Webb. Serendipitous, considering that Gosford's newly installed CCTV surveillance system will be officially launched this Friday afternoon in William Plaza.
The nature of public space in Gosford will have been fundamentally changed.
See you in the Plaza!

From Sophy:

Rain Causes Eyeball Delay

Rain has again delayed the planned installation of 54 Closed Circuit Television Cameras in the Gosford CBD.

The cameras were to be operational by 16 June but torrential rain and strong winds caused the installation to be postponed. After yet another delay, spokesperson for the agency charged with the development and installation of the CCT System, Eyeball on Gosford (EBOG), expressed considerable frustration stating that important information was being lost with each passing day.

When asked to explain the purpose of the EBOG system, the spokesperson animatedly described a system would track and report the habits of Gosford CBD pedestrians “much like the way in which Australian Shoppers’ habits are tracked by Fly Buys.”

He reported that the commissioning of the system was prompted by the report of unusual behaviour in February this year in the Gosford City CBD. Eyewitnesses reported, along with other strange occurrences, a western-style shootout and the disturbing gagging of a young woman in the main street.

He was not able to explain, however, the eventual usefulness of the data, appearing confused at the purpose of the question.

A Central Coast resident and Gosford CBD frequenter discounts the credibility of the system stating, “EBOG are providing paper-thin explanations for the purpose of this system. They have assured the public that these are not security cameras so this leads me to wonder what the use of these cameras are and what the data will be used for.”

EBOG spokesperson has ascertained that the placement of the cameras will not be in high pedestrian areas such as the Railway Station, Cafes, Shopping Complexes, Retail Outlets or Banks and Real Estates, but will be situated in far less populated locations such as Waterfall Arcade.

Burns Park, once a vibrant meeting place for travellers but now mostly deserted, will host three EBOG cameras

“What is the point of that?” asks a Gosford Worker. “If the aim is to monitor and track the habits of the Gosford Pedestrian Public, then the placement is all wrong. Burns Park and in particular the Rotary Fountain, designed and built by the Lewers Family as a Memorial to Peace, has long been ignored and neglected”.

One wonders if the purpose of the system is a futile one?

When pressed for details of the timeframe for the finalisation of the camera placement, the spokesperson replied, “The cameras will be installed in predetermined locations one sunny day soon…”.

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