House of Representatives Committees

Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings

Standing determinations relating to the radio broadcasting of parliamentary proceedings

Adopted by the Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings on 19 March 2013

Allocation of broadcasts

  1. The allocation of broadcasts between the Senate and the House of Representatives shall be as follows:
  Sitting weeks commencing on a Monday Sitting weeks commencing on a Tuesday
Monday House of Representatives [no sitting]
Tuesday Senate House of Representatives
Wednesday Senate Senate
Thursday House of Representatives Senate
Friday House of Representatives House of Representatives
Saturday Senate House of Representatives
Sunday House of Representatives Senate

Transfer of broadcast from one House to the other

  1. When both Houses are meeting on the same day and the House whose proceedings are being broadcast adjourns for the day or suspends its proceedings for an extended period, the broadcast shall be transferred to the other House at the earliest opportunity.

  2. When both Houses are meeting on the same day and the House not allocated the broadcast meets earlier than the other House, the broadcast shall commence at the start of the proceedings of the House meeting earliest. This broadcast shall continue until the House allocated the broadcast meets, when the broadcast shall be transferred. Annex 1 provides examples.

  3. If there are significant issues under debate in the House not allocated the broadcast, a decision to transfer the broadcast may be made by:

    I. the Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings or its subcommittee; or

    II. the Presiding Officers, on advice from the Secretary to the Joint Committee, following consultation with the Serjeant-at-Arms, the Usher of the Black Rod and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. The decision:

    a) must take into account the importance of, and public interest in, the impending debate, and

    b) may initially be given orally, but must be reported to the Joint Committee in writing.

Rebroadcast of Governor-General's speech

  1. On the first sitting day of each session of the Parliament, the speech of the Governor-General shall be rebroadcast at the earliest convenient time available on the Parliamentary Broadcast Network.

Announcements from control booths

  1. The following general principles apply to announcements made from the control booths:

    I. announcements may include a description of procedure, and business before the allocated House or of business before the other House or of procedures and/or business before joint committees or committees of either House;

    II. general information may be provided about the context of debates or particular proceedings as long as political views or forecasts are not included;

    III. the announcement of each Senator or Member receiving the call may include the following particulars:

    a) name;

    b) parliamentary office or portfolio;

    c) political party;

    d) electorate or state;

    IV. names of members intending to speak may be announced; and

    V. information approved by the Secretary to the Joint Committee, including pre-recorded parliamentary educational material and references to school groups currently visiting the chamber, may be used during procedural processes, such as divisions, that take place during a broadcast.

  2. Details of coverage of broadcasts are to be reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to the Joint Committee at the end of each three month period.

Annex 1: Examples of broadcast transfers

Example 1: Budget Reply in the Senate

The Leader of the Opposition's Budget Reply speech is usually given on the Thursday following the introduction of the Appropriations Bills in the House of Representatives. The speech is broadcast in accordance with the usual allocation of the broadcast in the House of Representatives on Thursdays. The House traditionally adjourns at the conclusion this speech, at 8.00pm.

The Senate continues to sit to allow debate on the Budget.

Broadcast transfer required: The broadcast should be transferred from the House to the Senate at the adjournment of the House (i.e. 8.00pm) until the adjournment of the Senate.

Example 2: Early commencement of sittings of the House of Representatives

The House of Representatives has resolved to vary its hours for a Tuesday sitting and will now meet at 9.00am rather than 2.00pm.

The Senate, the house allocated the broadcast on Tuesdays, meets at 12.30pm.

Broadcast transfer required: The House should be broadcast from 9.00am until 12.30pm; the broadcast should then transferred to the Senate until its adjournment.

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