Rules which govern how media organisations operate in Parliament House have today been tabled after a year-long consultation process.
Senate President Senator John Hogg and House of Representatives speaker Anna Burke MP have announced the release of Rules for Media Related Activity in Parliament House and its Precincts.
The rules are the result of consultation by members of the Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings with representatives of the federal parliamentary press gallery, members, senators, and parliamentary officials.
The rules clarify for media workers, members and senators and their staff where media activity is prohibited, permitted or permitted with approval in the building and include a set of colour-coded maps.
At the request of a number of media organisations, access to a number of the internal courtyards has been streamlined, and the Mural Hall can now be used as a backdrop for interviews.
The President of the Senate and the Speaker advised senators and members that the rules are guided by four general principles that go to openness and transparency; fair and accurate reporting of parliamentary proceedings; respect for members’ and senators’ privacy in their workplace; and ensuring all building occupants have the opportunity to fulfil their duties.
These guidelines will be used in determining penalties if the rules are breached.
A range of penalties may be applied by the presiding officers’ delegates, such as the suspension of passes for an indefinite period, the cancellation of passes and denial of access to chamber galleries for a sitting week.
The Rules are available on the Australian Parliament House website, at www.aph.gov.au/mediarules and will come into effect from February 5 2013.