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Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Page: 10108

The ACTING DEPUTY PRESIDENT ( Senator Marshall ) (17:04): On behalf of the President and for the information of senators I present the Rules for Media Related Activity in Parliament House and its Precincts which the Speaker and the President have agreed to.

These rules are the result of a year-long consultation process by the Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings with representatives of the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery, senators, members, and parliamentary officials. Through written submissions and roundtable discussions, each of these stakeholders has had an opportunity to make their views known. The rules will replace the Guidelines for Filming and Photography and General Media Rules in Parliament House and its Precincts.

The rules are underpinned by four guiding principles, namely: the openness and accessibility of parliament; the facilitation of fair and accurate reporting by the media of parliamentary proceedings; respect for the privacy of members, senators, other building occupants and visitors to Parliament House; and non-interference with the operations of parliament or the ability of members, senators and other building occupants to fulfil their duties.

The rules will clarify for the media, senators and members and their staff, where media activity is permitted, permitted with approval or not permitted in the building and precincts. The rules have, as an appendix, a set of maps which clearly demarcate these areas.

The rules also allow images and footage of chamber proceedings to be broadcast if used fairly and accurately. However, broadcast or publication of images that have been digitally manipulated is not acceptable.

It will be a condition of access for building occupants that the rules are complied with. Where breaches occur, a graduated range of sanctions may be applied. Administration of the rules will be delegated to the Usher of the Black Rod and the Serjeant-at-Arms.

The Clerks are preparing advice on proposed amendments to the resolutions relating to broadcasting in both the Senate and the House. The changes will take into account technological changes in broadcasting, including the introduction of ParlView. The Speaker and the President will seek advice from senators and members on the resolutions before they are introduced.

The rules will be available on the Australian Parliament House website. They come into effect on 5 February 2013, that is, from the first sitting week of next year. This should give us all time to become more familiar with their operation. I thank the Senate.