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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4212 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

Ultimately, we achieve a higher standard of living and a better quality of life if we are able to manage our dollars effectively, and for that reason prudent financial management leads to better social outcomes. That was certainly the objective stated by the Victorian government when it presented in 2000 its Financial Management (Financial Responsibility) Bill. That put in place much of what has been proposed in this bill today.

I commend this bill to the house.

Debate (on motion by Mr Quinlan ) adjourned to the next sitting.

Legislative Assembly (Broadcasting) Amendment Bill 2002

Debate resumed from 20 November 2002, on motion by Mr Berry:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STANHOPE (Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Health, Minister for Community Affairs and Minister for Women) (11.05): The government supports this legislation. I think it is important that the prospective broadcasting and proceedings of the Assembly be facilitated to the greatest extent possible, and this legislation achieves that.

However, I have a major concern that broadcasting entities in the town-radio stations and others-that did not take up this offer will be grossly disadvantaged in the market and that there could be some backlash as the ratings of the lucky provider of this service go through the roof, potentially putting most of the people at the ABC and the FM stations out of business. I can see the ABC having to scale back enormously as a result of their failure to appropriately broadcast the proceedings of this Assembly. Then again, they have been told, and we'll just say, "We told you so!"

MR CORNWELL (11.07): The opposition will be supporting this "tidying-up"-as we can probably express it-of the Legislative Assembly (Broadcasting) Amendment Bill. I understand that the amount of money involved is not great. We could take it as an educational step, although I share the Chief Minister's view that the airwaves may not be redolent with debates from this chamber on a regular basis. But we can hope, we can hope.

If we do treat this as an educational expense, it is certainly not a large expense if you look at the cost of other methods of carrying out educational duties, such as print advertisements. I hope that it can be used and will be used properly by the stations concerned.

MS DUNDAS (11.08): The ACT Democrats are pleased to support this bill, as it will allow the airing on the radio of the Assembly's debates and question time. It is apparent that few state or territory legislators actually enjoy the broadcasting of their debates, but it is a way of allowing the Canberra community to take an active interest in what is said in this chamber. It allows Canberrans to hear more about the Assembly than the four-second sound bites that are normally provided by our local news agencies. It also provides the community with the opportunity to hear what it is we say unedited and to respond more promptly.

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