Hinch Gets Senate Photography Blackout Lifted
A 25-year Press Gallery campaign to allow media photography in the Senate Chamber was brought to an end today by Senator Derryn Hinch.
For that time, photographs have only been allowed in the Senate of the Senator with the call. Only 100 metres away in the House of Representatives, the media can photograph any Member at any time.
Thanks to Senator Hinch, from 28 November 2016, the media will be able to photograph any Senator in the Chamber at any time.
“I can’t believe this ridiculous rule was in place for so long,” Senator Hinch said. “It’s just common sense that we can be photographed at any time in the Senate.”
Senator Hinch, who worked as a journalist for more than 50 years, said Australians are entitled to see the politicians they elected in action. “Fair media coverage of Parliament is a critical part of democracy,” Senator Hinch said.
“I got busted taking a nap during the Governor-General’s speech on the first day of Parliament. I could only be photographed because the absurd photographic rules were relaxed on that day. I could have been asleep in the Chamber since then, and the public would have no idea.”
Senator Hinch acknowledged the many people – particularly in the Press Gallery – who have been fighting for a quarter of a century to allow photographers do their job. “Former Greens Leader Bob Brown put up a similar motion to mine 10 years ago, which unfortunately was unsuccessful.” Senator Hinch said. “I thank him and everyone else who has kept this campaign alive for so long, especially Press Gallery President, Andrew Meares. At last common sense has prevailed.”