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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 3086..


MR MOORE (continuing):

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Legislative Assembly (Broadcasting) Bill 2001

Debate resumed from 9 August 2001, on motion by Mr Humphries:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR CORBELL (5.52): Mr Speaker, this is an important bill which arises from an inquiry by the Standing Committee on Administration and Procedure and the individual experience of committees and members of the application of the Assembly's broadcasting legislation and broadcasting rules to date.

In general, and in principle, I think all members would support the notion that we must ensure that the proceedings of the Assembly and of committees of the Assembly are as open, public and transparent as possible. One way of achieving that is to ensure that proceedings of this place and proceedings of committees are able to be recorded and broadcast to a wider audience.

The original Legislative Assembly (Broadcasting of Proceedings) Act made provision for that to occur, but in practice that act, as you would know, Mr Speaker, has proved to be unwieldy and awkward in its day to day implementation. It also places constraints on exactly what can and cannot be broadcast from this place. For instance, this debate today is only broadcast publicly in Hansard, not in any other way. Indeed, a recording of the debate that we are currently conducting would not be able to be rebroadcast in any way except through someone reading the Hansard transcript.

It is true to say, Mr Speaker, that much of what occurs in the Assembly, or indeed in any parliament, is far from the earth-shattering prime time viewing material that many people would like to see. Perhaps it is more akin to a late night broadcast. Nevertheless, it is appropriate that we ensure that the broadcasting of the Assembly's proceedings is made more open than it is to date.

The Labor Party will be supporting this bill today because it removes the provision that requires you, Mr Speaker, to authorise in advance the broadcast or recording of any proceedings from this place or from a committee of this place. That provision has meant that to some extent those proceedings which have been broadcast, either from the Assembly or from a committee of the Assembly, have been set piece actions, so to speak, in that members have chosen that they be broadcast, particularly debates in this place, and have then staged the debates in such a manner as to achieve maximum possible exposure from that broadcast.

I do not have a particular difficulty with that, Mr Speaker, but it still provides for a level of artificiality in how people outside this place view proceedings in this place. So the provision in this bill which removes the requirement for you to authorise proceedings for broadcast or recording prior to them taking place is one which is to be welcomed. Importantly, though, the bill does provide for you, or this Assembly or a committee, to


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