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Media Guidelines for Parliament of Tasmania

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 18 October 2018

Tags: Democracy, Transparency


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.