New rules for media-related activity in Parliament House and its precincts

Parliament house flag post

New rules for media-related activity in Parliament House and its precincts

Posted 5/12/2012 by Nicholas Horne

On 28 November 2012 the Presiding Officers issued new rules for media-related activity in Parliament House and its precincts. The rules will come into effect with the commencement of the 2013 parliamentary sittings on 5 February 2013 replacing the previous rules and guidelines on filming and photography (issued December 2008). The rules will apply to all occupants of Parliament House and visitors to the building and its precincts.

The rules are issued under the Parliamentary Precincts Act 1988 (Cth) and operate alongside resolutions of the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings. The rules state that media-related activity includes: conducting interviews; seeking public comment from individuals; photography for print or online publication; ‘sound and vision recording for radio or television broadcast or web streaming’; and ‘any other digital capture of text, images or sound for broadcast purposes or public distribution’.

The rules specify locations in public and private areas where media-related activity is prohibited, permitted, or permitted with approval and set out conditions for approvals where required. The rules also deal with media coverage of parliamentary proceedings and specify penalties for non-compliance.

The new rules introduce four guiding principles: 
  • ‘openness and accessibility of the Parliament’
  • ‘facilitation of fair and accurate reporting by the media of parliamentary proceedings’
  • respect for the privacy of parliamentarians and ‘other building occupants and visitors’, and
  • ‘non-interference with the operations of the Parliament’ or the ability of parliamentarians and other occupants to fulfil their duties. 

Main differences between the new rules and the previous rules include: 
  • the new rules provide greater clarity regarding where media-related activity is prohibited, permitted or permitted with approval in public and private areas
  • the new rules prohibit the digital manipulation of broadcast material or still photographs of parliamentary proceedings
  • a restriction in the previous rules on filming, and the use of still photography of chamber proceedings, for satire or ridicule has been removed
  • the new rules set out a range of penalties that may be applied for non-compliance (for example denial of access to all chamber galleries for a sitting week). 

While the previous restriction on filming and the use of still photography of chamber proceedings for satire or ridicule has been removed from the media rules, restrictions on the use of broadcasts of chamber proceedings for the purposes of satire and ridicule are still in place in the resolutions of the Senate and the House of Representatives and in the Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings’ conditions of access to Senate and House proceedings for recording and broadcasting. This discrepancy may be rectified in the future.


  • 21/01/2014 2:16 PM
    Martin Butterfield said:

    It is interesting that the word 'media' appears not to be defined. Thus could an individual who snaps a politician doing something amusing and publishes that on a blog be captured by these rules?

  • 21/01/2014 2:16 PM
    Nicholas Horne said:

    The media rules are administered by the Usher of the Black Rod in the Senate and the Serjeant-at-Arms in the House of Representatives; queries regarding the rules should be forwarded to their offices ( and

Thank you for your comment. If it does not require moderation, it will appear shortly.
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print


Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice




refugees asylum immigration Australian foreign policy Parliament climate change elections women social security Indigenous Australians Australian Bureau of Statistics Employment taxation Sport illicit drugs Medicare welfare reform Australian Defence Force welfare policy Asia income management Middle East criminal law disability Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency World Anti-Doping Agency United States higher education people trafficking school education aid statistics Australian Electoral Commission WADA United Nations federal budget health financing emissions trading gambling Australia in the Asian Century steroids detention Private health insurance OECD ASADA labour force transport Law Enforcement Australian Federal Police Industrial Relations dental health National Disability Insurance Scheme forced labour Senate election results Papua New Guinea Australian Public Service International Women's Day corruption Fair Work Act child protection people smuggling debt federal election 2013 parliamentary procedure ALP New Zealand Australian Crime Commission Newstart Parenting Payment 43rd Parliament slavery by-election political parties Census constitution High Court skilled migration voting Federal Court terrorist groups Afghanistan Higher Education Loan Program HECS youth Aviation environment foreign debt gross debt net debt defence capability customs poker machines doping health crime health risks multiculturalism aged care Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling sex slavery sea farers leadership United Kingdom UK Parliament Electoral reform politics banking firearms public policy mental health China ADRV terrorism social media pensions welfare ASIO intelligence community Australian Security Intelligence Organisation governance public service reform Carbon Pricing Mechanism carbon tax mining military history employer employee fishing paid parental leave European Union same sex relationships international relations coal seam gas planning United Nations Security Council Australian economy food vocational education and training Drugs Indonesia children codes of conduct terrorist financing election timetable citizenship Productivity asylum seekers early childhood education Canada Population Financial sector national security fuel violence against women domestic violence disability employment Tasmania integrity science research and development Australian Secret Intelligence Service sexual abuse federal state relations World Trade Organization Australia accountability housing affordability bulk billing water renewable energy children's health health policy Governor-General US economy export liquefied natural gas foreign bribery question time speaker superannuation family assistance expertise Senators and Members climate Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry food labelling Pacific Islands reserved seats new psychoactive substances synthetic drugs UNODC carbon markets health reform Indigenous constitutional recognition of local government local government consumer laws PISA royal commission US politics language education Leaders of the Opposition Parliamentary remuneration health system Australia Greens money laundering servitude Special Rapporteur Trafficking Protocol energy forced marriage rural and regional Northern Territory Emergency Response ministries social citizenship China; Economic policy; Southeast Asia; Africa housing Speaker; House of Representatives; Parliament Defence High Court; Indigenous; Indigenous Australians; Native Title ACT Indigenous education Norfolk Island External Territories emissions reduction fund; climate change child care funding refugees immigration asylum procurement Indigenous health e-voting internet voting nsw state elections 44th Parliament 2015 ABS Age Pension Death penalty capital punishment execution Bali nine Bali bombings Trade EU China soft power education Fiji India Disability Support Pension Antarctica Diplomacy by-elections state and territories workers Bills anti-corruption fraud bribery transparency corporate ownership whistleblower G20 economic reform innovation standards NATO Members of Parliament Scottish referendum Middle East; national security; terrorism social services Criminal Code Amendment (Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor) Bill 2013 online grooming sexual assault of minors ACT Assembly public health smoking plain packaging tobacco cigarettes Asia; Japan; international relations Work Health and Safety Migration; asylum seekers; regional processing China; United States; international relations fiscal policy Racial Discrimination Act; social policy; human rights; indigenous Australians Foreign policy Southeast Asia Israel Palestine regional unemployment asylum refugees immigration political finance donations foreign aid Economics efficiency human rights; Racial Discrimination Act employment law bullying Animal law; food copyright Australian Law Reform Commission industry peace keeping contracts workplace policies trade unions same-sex marriage disorderly conduct retirement Parliament House standing orders public housing prime ministers sitting days First speech defence budget submarines Somalia GDP forestry world heritage political engagement leave loading Trade; tariffs; safeguards; Anti-dumping public interest disclosure whistleblowing Productivity Commission regulation limitation period universities Ireland cancer gene patents genetic testing suspension of standing and sessional orders animal health live exports welfare systems infant mortality middle class welfare honorary citizen railways disciplinary tribunals standard of proof World Health Organisation arts international students skilled graduate visas temporary employment visas apologies roads Italy national heritage NHMRC nutrition anti-dumping Constitutional reform referendum Rent Assistance competition policy pharmaceutical benefits scheme obesity evidence law sacrament of confession US presidential election international days baby bonus DFAT UN General Assembly deregulation Regulation Impact Statements administrative law small business Breaker Morant homelessness regional engagement social determinants of health abortion Youth Allowance Members suspension citizen engagement policymaking federal election 2010 workplace health and safety Trafficking in Persons Report marine reserves hearing TAFE Victoria astronomy resources sector YMCA youth parliament alcohol Korea rebate Australian Greens presidential nomination Racial Discrimination Act entitlements political parties preselection solar hot water Financial Action Taskforce Horn of Africa peacekeeping piracy Great Barrier Reef Stronger futures political financing Hung Parliament political education social inclusion Social Inclusion Board maritime early childhood National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care Murray-Darling Basin Iran sanctions

Show all
Show less
Back to top