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9. There shall be a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman of the Com- Chairman
and Vicemittee, who shall be elected by the members of the Committee at an
Chairman. their first meeting, or as soon thereafter as is practicable. 10. At any meeting of the Committee
Quorum and (a) five members shall form a quorum;
meetings. (6) the Chairman or, in his abscence, the Vice-Chairman or, in the absence of both the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman, a member elected by the members present, shall preside;
(c) all questions shall be decided by a majority of the votes of the members present; and
(d) the Chairman or other member presiding shall have a deliberative vote and, in the event of an equality of votes, shall also have a casting vote.
11. The Committee may sit and transact business during any Power to sit adjournment or recess as well as during the session, and may sit during recess. at such times (including times while either House of the Parliament is actually sitting) and in such places, and conduct their proceedings in such manner, as they deem proper.
12.-(1.) The Committee shall consider and specify in a report Functions of presented to each House of the Parliament, the general principles Committee. 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.
(2.) The Committee shall, in accordance with general principles specified by the Committee and adopted by each House of the Parliament, determine the days upon which, and the periods during which, the proceedings of either House of the Parliament shall be broadcast.
13.-(1.) The Committee may delegate to a Sub-Committee of Delegation the Committee, consisting of two Senators and two members of the to subHouse of Representatives, the power to determine the days upon committee. which, and the periods during which, the proceedings of either House of the Parliament shall be broadcast, and any determination of the Sub-Committee shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be a determination of the Committee.
(2.) Two members of the Sub-Committee shall form a quorum.
(3.) No delegation under this section shall prevent the exercise of any power by the Committee.
(4.) The Sub-Committee may sit and transact business during any adjournment or recess as well as during the session, and may sit at such times (including times while either House of the Parliament is actually sitting) as they deem proper.
14.-(1.) The Committee shall have power to determine the Re-broadconditions in accordance with which a re-broadcast may be made of casting of any portion of the proceedings of either House of the Parliament. parliamentary
proceedings. (2.) No re-broadcast shall be made of any portion of the P proceedings of either House of the Parliament otherwise than in accordance with the conditions so determined.
15. No action or proceedings, civil or criminal, shall lie against No action for any person for broadcasting or re-broadcasting any portion of the broadcasting
parliamentary proceedings of either House of the Parliament.
proceedings. 16. The provisions of section ninety of the Australian Broadcast- Section 90 of ing Act 1942 shall not apply to the broadcasting or re-broadcasting Australian
Broadcasting of any proceedings of either House of the Parliament.
inapplicable. 17. The Governor-General may make regulations, not incon- Regulations. sistent with this Act, prescribing all matters which, by this Act, are required or permitted to be prescribed or which are necessary or consistent to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to this Act.
THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA
PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS BROADCASTING
(No. 35 of 1960) An Act to amend the Parliamentary Proceedings Broadcasting Act 1946.
(Assented to 8th June, 1960.] Be it enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, the Senate, and the House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Australia, as follows:
1.-(1.) This Act may be cited as the Parliamentary Proceedings Short title Broadcasting Act 1960.
and citation. (2.) The Parliamentary Proceedings Broadcasting Act 1946,* as amended by this Act, may be cited as the Parliamentary Proceedings Broadcasting Act 1946–1960.
2. This Act shall come into operation on the day on which it Commencereceives the Royal Assent.
ment. 3. After section thirteen of the Parliamentary Proceedings Broadcasting Act 1946 the following section is inserted:
“130.-(1.) In this section, the Commission' means the Recording of Australian Broadcasting Commission.
proceedings. “(2.) The Commission may make a sound recording of any proceedings of the Senate or of the House of Representatives and shall make a sound recording of any such proceedings when directed so to do by the Chairman or Vice-Chairman of the Committee.
“(3.) The Commission shall, within such period as the Committee from time to time directs, deliver to the Chairman or ViceChairman of the Committee any recording made by the Commission in pursuance of this section.
“(4.) Where the Committee considers that a recording made by the Commission in pursuance of this section is of sufficient historic interest to justify its being permanently preserved, the Committee may make such arrangements as it thinks fit for the permanent safe keeping of the recording.
" (5.) Where the Committee does not make arrangements for the permanent safe keeping of a recording, the Committee shall cause the recording to be destroyed.".
Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings in Australia
THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA
(By A. R. Browning, Serjeant-at-Arms and Clerk of Committees) By authority A. J. Arthur, Commonwealth Government Printer, Canberra:
BROADCASTING OF PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS IN AUSTRALIA
INTRODUCTORY The introduction in Australia of the broadcasting of Parliament was carefully planned. As a first step the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Broadcasting was requested by the Postmaster-General to consider and report to Parliament (a) whether the broadcasting of Parliamentary debates is desirable, and (b) if so, to what extent and in what manner should such broadcasts be undertaken. The Committee consulted the Presiding Officers, the Party leaders in both Houses, officers of the Australian Broadcasting Commission and the Postmaster-General's Department, and representatives from New Zealand which, at that time, had nine
• Act No. 20, 1946.
years' experience of broadcasting Parliamentary debates. In a report which is a complete statement of the problems involved in such a venture its conclusion was that the weight of evidence in favour of broadcasting the proceedings of the Commonwealth Parliament has convinced us that the innovation should be introduced in this country as soon as circumstances permit'.
The Parliamentary Proceedings Broadcasting Bill 'to provide for the Broadcasting of the Proceedings of the Houses of the Parliament, and for other purposes' was introduced in the Senate on 19 June 1946 and after amendment in the House of Representatives received Royal Assent on 5 July 1946.2 The Act directs the Australian Broadcasting Commission, which operates the national broadcasting service, to broadcast the proceedings of the Senate or the House of Representatives from seven medium wave national stations (located in the six state capitals, plus Newcastle) and from such other national stations, including short-wave, as are prescribed. A medium wave station in Canberra and a short-wave station have been so prescribed. The Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings was created and given extensive powers over the whole programme.
JOINT COMMITTEE ON THE BROADCASTING OF PARLIAMENTARY PROCEEDINGS
The Joint Committee, with a membership of nine, is appointed at the commencement of the first session of every Parliament and consists of the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and two Senators and five Members of the House of Representatives appointed by the respective Houses.
Members of the Committee hold office as a Joint Committee until the House of Representatives for the time being expires by dissolution or effluxion of time. Any member, other than the President and Speaker, may resign his seat on the Committee by writing addressed to the President, or the Speaker, as the case may be.
Vacancies in the Committee must be filled by the House concerned within fifteen sitting days after the happening of the vacancy if that House is then sitting, or, if not, then within fifteen sitting days after the next meeting of that House.
The Chairman and Vice-Chairman are elected by members of the Committee at their first meeting or as soon as practicable thereafter. With the exception of one Parliament, the Speaker has been elected Chairman and the President Vice-Chairman.
The quorum of the Committee is five members and as there is no stipulation in the Act as to the necessity of the presence of a Senator in the make-up of the quorum, the quorum can consist exclusively of Members of the House of Representatives.
All questions arising in the Committee are decided by a majority of the votes of the members present with the Chairman, or other member presiding, having a deliberative vote and, in the event of an equality of votes, a casting vote also.
The Committee has power to sit during any adjournment or recess as well as during the session, and may sit at such times (including times while either House of the Parliament is actually sitting) and in such places, and conduct their proceedings in such manner as they deem proper. General Principles and Standing Determinations
Before the first broadcast on 10 July 1946, the Committee, in accordance with its functions under the Act, specified in a report to each House the general principles upon which the broadcast of Parliamentary proceedings should be inaugurated. The Committee's report was adopted by both Houses, and the Committee has subsequently exercised control over the broadcasts in accordance with the principles ratified by Parliament and the determinations the Committee has made in conformity with these principles.
The general principles, as amended, are as follows:
CONSOLIDATION OF GENERAL PRINCIPLES SPECIFIED IN THE COMMITTEE'S FIRST,
SECOND, THIRD, FOURTH, SIXTH AND SEVENTH REPORTS 3 ADOPTED BY BOTH HOUSES ON 5 JULY, 17 JULY, 16 NOVEMBER 1946, 30 JUNE 1949, 12 APRIL 1954, AND
7 APRIL 1960, RESPECTIVELY (1) Days upon which proceedings shall be broadcast
The proceedings of Parliament sball be broadcast on each day on which either House is sitting.*
* Elghth Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Broadcasting relating to the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Debates. Parliamentary Paper No. 31 of 1945–46.
Parliamentary Proceedings Broadcasting Act 1946. Act No. 20 of 1946. * Fifth Report not adopted by House of Representatives. • Saturday sittings excluded by Determination No. 6.
(2) Periods during which proceedings shall be broadcast
The broadcast shall commence on each sitting day at the time fixed for the meeting of the House whose opening proceedings are to be broadcast on that day, as determined by the Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings, in accordance with section 12 (2.) of the Parliamentary Proceedings Broadcasting Act 1946, and shall cease when the adjournment is moved in the House which is being broadcast at that time, or at 11:30 p.m., whichever is the earlier. (3) Allocation of broadcasting time between the Senate and the House of Representa
tives The allocation of broadcasting time between the Senate and the House of Representatives shall be in accordance with the view of the Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings, or its sub-committee, on the importance of the impending debate and the public interest attaching thereto. The Committee recognises that, in practice, more time will be allotted to the House of Representatives than to the Senate. (4) Re-broadcast of Governor-General's Speech
On the first sitting day of each session of the Parliament the Australian Broadcasting Commission shall re-broadcast at 7:15 p.m. the Speech of the GovernorGeneral. (5) Re-broadcast of questions and answers
(a) Within the limits of time available, the following Parliamentary proceedings shall be re-broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Commission between 7:15 p.m. and 8 p.m. on each sitting day after the first sitting day of each session: Senate proceedings-Questions without notice and on notice and answers thereto; House of Representatives proceedings Questions without notice and answers thereto.
(b) When a Member makes a personal explanation in rebuttal of misrepresentation contained in a question asked that day or an answer thereto, the question and answer shall, subject to the next succeeding sub-paragraph, be excluded from the re-broadcast.
(c) The Presiding Officer may, in his discretion, refer any case to the Joint Committee for decision as to whether such question and answer shall be excluded from the re-broadcast. (6) Broadcast and re-broadcast through national stations
No broadcast or re-broadcast of the proceedings of either House shall be made except through national broadcasting stations unless the Joint Committee otherwise determines.
(7) The general principles specified in the First Report of the Joint Committee on the Broadcasting of Parliamentary Proceedings adopted by both Houses on 5 July 1946, shall be observed generally by the Joint Committee in making determinations in accordance with the Parliamentary Proceedings Broadcasting Act 1946 but nothing in those general principles shall be taken to prevent the Joint Committee from departing from those general principles in order to meet any unusual or special circumstances.
Determinations made by the Committee, in accordance with the General Principles, are as follows:
STANDING DETERMINATIONS Transfer of broadcast from one House to another (Determinations of 20 March 1947)
(1) When both Houses are meeting on the one day and the House whose proceedings are being broadcast adjourns for the day prior to a normal meal suspension, the broadcast shall be transferred to the other House as from the time when this other House resumes its sitting after the meal suspension.
(2) When on any day on which the broadcast has been allotted to the Senate and, as a result of a Want of Confidence Motion having been moved in the House of Representatives, the Senate adjourns for the day, the broadcast shall be transferred immediately to the House of Representatives.
(Determination of 8 May 1947)
(3) On any day when both Houses are meeting and on which the House to which the broadcast for the day has not been allocated meets in the forenoon and the House to which the broadcast for the day has been allocated meets in the afternoon, the proceedings of the House first mentioned shall be broadcast from the time of its meeting in the forenoon until its suspension for lunch:
Provided that the broadcast of proceedings of the House which meets in the forenoon shall not be continued past the time fixed for the meeting of the other House. Re-broadcast of questions and answers—allocation of time between Houses (Deter
mination of 26 November 1947) (4) On each sitting day, the re-broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Commission at 7:15 p.m. of questions and answers as specified in General Principle No. 5 shall commence with the questions and answers of the House to which the broadcast for the day has not been allocated. This determination is to have effect irrespective of any broadcast, pursuant to the Committee's determination of 8 May 1947, of the morning proceedings of the House to which the broadcast for the day has not been allocated. Allocation of broadcast (Determination of 21 June 1951)
(5) That, unless otherwise ordered, the broadcast be allocated as follows: Tuesday sittings, House of Representatives; Wednesday sittings, Senate; Thursday sittings, House of Representatives; Friday sittings, Senate. Saturday sittings (Determination of 25 March 1953)
(6) That, in the event of either House sitting on Saturday, the proceedings of that House shall not be broadcast. Re-broadcast of questions and answers (Determination of 30 September 1953)
(7) When points of order or other extraneous matter are eliminated from the re-broadcast of questions and answers, this should be indicated by an appropriate announcement. Budget Speech and Leader of the Opposition's reply (Determination of 31 August
1967) (8) That the Budget Speech and the Leader of the Opposition's reply may be broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Commission over its regional stations, Daylight Saving Time in Tasmania (Determination of 20 September 1967)
(9) That, during the period of Daylight Saving Time in Tasmania, the broadcast shall cease in that State when the adjournment is moved in the House which is being broadcast at that time, or at 11:30 p.m. Daylight Saving Time, whichever is the earlier. Announcements from Control Booth
(10) The following general principles apply to announcements made from the Control Booths: (a) Announcements to be confined to a straight description of
to be included; (c) The announcement of each Senator or Member receiving the Call includes the following particulars: (i) Name, (ii) Parliamentary office or portfolio, (iii) Political party, (iv) Electorate or State.
Comment on the presence or absence of Senators and Members (including Ministers) is not to be made except that announcers may refer during Divisions to the way in which specific Members vote. It is to be understood this reference may be made only in such cases as when a Member is voting away from his usual Party alignment or to show on which side an independent Member is voting.
Names of Members intending to speak, during the day or evening may be announced from the Control Booth provided that the announcement is of a provisional nature.
To meet situations when it may be necessary for prompt decisions to be given in regard to Parliamentary broadcasts, the Committee has authority to delegate to a sub-committee consisting of two Senators and two Members, its power to determine the days on which, and, the periods during which, the proceedings of either House shall be broadcast. Because of the possibility that only one House may be sitting, the Act provides that two members of the sub-committee shall be sufficient to form a quorum.
The Committee met frequently during the period when it was framing the general principles and allocating broadcasting time between the two Houses on the basis of the importance of their business. However, since 1951, when a regular