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Media Guidelines for Parliament of Tasmania

18 October 2018


In the midst of a scandal about a now disgraced minister who can no longer 
stand at the dispatch box and answer questions, the Parliament of Tasmania 
has issued media guidelines that prohibit journalists 'lingering in 
corridors and speaking to MPs', photographs being taken of division, 
disturbances in the Chamber and 'unparliamentary behaviour', and 
pertinently, photographs of MPs who are not on their feet and speaking. 
Do you agree we are only in here to represent the Tasmanian people and 
they should be able to view our actions in the place they have elected us 
to? Do you support this crackdown on a free press and a move that is 
being criticised nationally and referred to as a threat to our democracy?

Madam SPEAKER - Ms O'Connor, these rules do not fall within the purview of 
the Premier. They come under my guidance. We have been investigating 
because we have had inquiries from the media. Our protocols have not 
changed in many years so the rules are exactly as they have always been, 
plus we are now comparing them with all parliaments around Australia and 
we believe they are very consistent. The Premier is allowed to answer if 
he wishes but it is not really his responsibility.

Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. As I cannot ask the Premier 
this question, can I ask whether there will be further consultation on 
these media guidelines?

Madam SPEAKER - Unfortunately you cannot question me but you can come to 
see me in my room. We are looking into it so I give you and the media the 
assurance that we are trying to make them best practice.

Ms O'CONNOR - On the point of order, Madam Speaker, I believe it is within 
the rules of the House for the Premier to answer whether he supports -

Madam SPEAKER - I am positive the Premier would support it.