Role of the Committee
Parliamentary Proceedings Broadcasting Act 1946
The Parliamentary Proceedings Broadcasting Act 1946 requires the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) to broadcast proceedings of the Senate and the House of Representatives, including joint sittings (s.4).
The Act appoints the Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings to control broadcasting under the Act (s.5).
The Act provides for live broadcasting, directly from proceedings as they occur, and for rebroadcasting, from a sound recording of proceedings that occurred earlier.
Radio broadcast of proceedings
The primary role of the committee is to regulate the radio broadcast and rebroadcast of the proceedings of parliament.
There are different conditions for broadcasting and rebroadcasting.
In relation to live broadcasting, the committee must:
consider and specify in a report presented to each House of the Parliament, the general principles upon which there should be determined the days upon which, and the periods during which, the proceedings of the Senate and the House of Representatives shall be broadcast (s.12 (1)) - the general principles;
in accordance with those general principles, once they are adopted in each House, determine the days upon which, and the periods during which, the proceedings of either House of the Parliament are to be broadcast (s.12(2)) - the standing determinations.
In relation to any joint sitting of the members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives, the committee must:
determine the days upon which, and the periods during which, the proceedings of the joint sitting are to be broadcast (s.12(3)).
Rebroadcast of proceedings
In relation to rebroadcasting, the committee:
may determine the conditions in accordance with which a rebroadcast may be made of any portion of the proceedings of either House of the Parliament or of a joint sitting; and every rebroadcast of any portion of proceedings must be made in accordance with such conditions (s.14) - the general principles and the standing determinations contain measures which apply to rebroadcasting.
The committee has only a limited role in relation to the televising of proceedings of parliament. In relation to a joint sitting only, the committee:
can require the ABC to televise, in whole or in part, the proceedings of the joint sitting (s.4(3));
may determine the conditions in accordance with which televising from a recording of proceedings may be made of any portion of the proceedings of a joint sitting; and the telecast of recordings of any portion of such proceedings must be made in accordance with the conditions (s.14).
Excerpts of proceedings
The committee has also adopted conditions for granting access to proceedings of the Senate and the House of Representatives for the purpose of recording and broadcasting excerpts - the conditions for excerpts.