Evidence (Journalists) Amendment Bill

Second Reading

Mr PEDERICK ( Hammond ) ( 11:27 ): I rise to support the Evidence (Journalists) Amendment Bill that was introduced last year in the other place by the Hon. Andrew McLachlan. This bill certainly recognises the critically important role that the media and the profession of journalism plays in protecting the rights of the individual against capricious acts of the state.

Certainly, we all have interactions with media—some are better than others—and we need the media to operate well in this state and, obviously, the media needs to report on matters in this place and matters concerning the constituencies of all members in the state as well. We all have great relationships with members of the media and I think the protection of the media's rights in relation to information that is given to it creates the proper setting for the free press to operate and to get that news out to the world. Otherwise, if the media was under threat of exposing its sources, it would just be the end of the free press in this state. The simple fact is that is not the way to run a state. We are not a communist state. We have seen some terrible things—

Members interjecting:

Mr PEDERICK: Some interesting comments around the chamber. We have seen what has happened to people who appear to have been unfairly charged in Egypt in the last few years and that brings to mind what can happen if members of the media are treated unfairly. I note that this bill extends right through to freelance journalists and other prescribed persons. I seek leave to continue my remarks.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.