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Thursday, 26 May 1983
Page: 1019


Mr LIONEL BOWEN (Minister for Trade)(10.47) —I move:

(1) That the following matters be referred to the Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings for inquiry and report:

(a) the televising of the proceedings of the Houses of the Parliament and their committees in the present and the new Parliament House; and

(b) the radio broadcasting of the proceedings of the Houses of the Parliament and their committees including the continuous and simultaneous broadcasting of both Houses.

(2) That the committee, for any purposes related to this inquiry, have power to send for persons, papers and records.

(3) That a message be sent to the Senate acquainting it of this resolution and requesting its concurrence.

Last year both Houses of the Parliament agreed to motions referring to the Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings: The matter of the televising of the proceedings of the House of the Parliament and their committees in the new Parliament House, and the continuous and simultaneous radio broadcasting of both Houses of Parliament. The Committee's inquiry had not begun when the election was called and the Parliament dissolved. Reactivating the reference provides an opportunity to expand the Committee's terms to allow for a more extensive inquiry to cover televising proceedings in the existing Parliament House and the broadcasting of extracts on radio and television. As honourable members would be aware, the expansion of the terms was suggested to the Government by the Acting Clerk, with the support of Mr Speaker. The Government is happy to agree that the Committee should examine these matters now . Furthermore, the Government would be pleased if the Committee were, in settling its priorities, to consider reporting first on televising the present Parliament. The Committee will now have the benefit of experience of the National Economic Summit Conference, where mobile TV apparatus was used successfully. Although last year the Senate Standing Orders Committee found that television costs could not be justified for the present building, the Government believes the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings Committee is the right forum for exploring these questions further. The Government looks forward to learning of the Committee's views.