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For how long CCTV footage is retained in Australia, the answers vary. Certain authorities are insistent that CCTV footage must be kept for a specific length of time, while others are more cautious.

In Australia, the duration of CCTV footage is entirely reliant on the law that regulates its management, from recording through disposal. Read this article to examine the retention of CCTV footage in the country.

CCTV Footage Retention

The retention period refers to the amount of time that CCTV footage is kept. As a result, it may have a significant effect on the quantity of storage required. The longer an organization keeps video footage, the larger the storage capacity required.

Retention time has increased because of rules and legal actions. The Common Administrative Functions Retention and Disposal Authority outlines the retention and disposal authority for CCTV footage and documents related to the operation of the CCTV systems. 

Because of the possibility that camera surveillance video may become a public record, agencies should examine their responsibilities according to the Public Records Act 2002.

Factors Affecting Footage Retention

CCTV footage as a public record is kept for at least the minimum retention term. The regulation is provided in the State Archivist’s General Retention and Disposal Schedule for Administrative Records or an agency’s specific Retention and Disposal Schedule.

While compliance with laws is considered when establishing retention policy, it is not the sole one. In specific industries, such as law enforcement and retail, the value of video grows over time as individuals and trends are seen.

The minimum retention duration was further determined by the video being captured, the purpose of the recording, and the court’s requirement for legal investigation. When a video is used to investigate and record particular or essential events, authorities may be required to keep it for a longer length of time. 

CCTV footage video is not permanent and is disposed of once administrative purposes are completed. As a result, after the minimum requirement has passed, agencies may lawfully delete CCTV footage. 

How Long Is CCTV Footage Kept?

All CCTV footage is securely kept and will be watched and accessed only by authorized individuals. The video is kept for 30–90 days in line with the Public Records Act 2002. It applies until the purpose of retention is completed. Camera footage must be kept for at least the statutory minimum time.

Keep in mind that although continuous surveillance video that is not needed for evidence must be kept only until the business activity is finished. You may not be informed of an event immediately. Given that it is impossible to predict at the time of collection what future uses the video may have, all material be kept for a minimum of 90 days.


When questioned regarding retention periods, several organizations state they cannot provide an answer. Others are very candid about the potential of retaining video forever but refuse to provide an exact number. 

Certain private security firms in Australia have been known to retain CCTV video for a certain period. These private security companies are only obliged to maintain records of information gathered in good faith. If you want to know more about CCTV footage and how to keep them legally, contact Rapid Alarms today. We have the most experienced and trusted agents that can guide you to the safety of your home and office.