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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 552 ..



committee has been drawn to certain deficiencies in relation to the operation of the Act, particularly in relation to committee hearings, but also, more importantly, to whether or not it is now appropriate to review the operations of the Act overall.

Since the Act was first introduced - following, I understand, originally a proposal by Mr Moore as a member then of the crossbenches - the Assembly has been able to broadcast certain types of its proceedings to the outside world, through either audio or video format. However, when the proposal was first put to the Assembly and agreed by the Assembly, it was certainly seen that the operations of the Legislative Assembly (Broadcasting of Proceedings) Act were very much for a trial period and that after a certain period of time it would be appropriate to review the operations of the Act.

Mr Speaker, I am certainly of the view that the Act does need to be reviewed and that there are many activities that take place in this place which would be of interest to the media and to citizens outside of the Assembly if they were able to be broadcast, but which at the moment are not deemed to be matters of significant debate, or landmark debate, as we currently call it. Indeed, Mr Speaker, it seems to me incongruous that any citizen can walk into this place and sit in the gallery and observe anything that occurs in this place and that it is open and on the public record, yet only certain things are allowed to be recorded for broadcast to the wider community.

It strikes me as strange, Mr Speaker, that we have that inconsistency. So, I welcome the opportunity to propose to the Assembly that we review those guidelines and the form of the Act to see whether or not it is warranted to look at a widening of the ability of the Assembly to broadcast its activities outside of this chamber. I urge members to support the motion.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


Report on Preschool Education

Debate resumed from 22 September 1998, on motion by Ms Tucker:

That the report be noted.

MR STEFANIAK (Minister for Education) (10.43): Mr Speaker, this debate has covered a range of issues that are very important to the future provision of preschool education in the ACT. The Government responded to the report of the Education Standing Committee on preschool education, which was tabled on 24 November 1998. That quite clearly reflects our commitment to providing quality and accessible preschool education. I think it is also indicative of our commitment to applying responsible management strategies to preschool education. We are determined to make sure that quality and accessible preschool education in the Territory continues into the future.

One of the highlights of that particular standing committee report - and, I might say, a recommendation that is certainly heartily agreed with by this Government - is the call for a statement of purpose on the delivery of preschool services. Indeed, the high priority this

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