11 Jul 2013

Press complaint referred to Privileges Committee

4:17 pm on 11 July 2013

The Speaker of the House has asked the Privileges Committee to consider the issue of the release of security information of people working at Parliament, including journalists.

David Carter.

David Carter. Photo: NATIONAL PARTY

An inquiry into who leaked a report into the Government Communications Security Bureau to Fairfax journalist Andrea Vance was given details of how her swipe card was used by Parliamentary Service.

The Press Gallery complained to the Speaker, saying the monitoring of Press Gallery journalists was a worrying development.

David Carter told the House on Thursday he accepts this issue needs to be considered further and has referred it to the Privileges Committee.

"While the media do not necessarily participate directly in parliamentary proceedings, they are critical to informing the public about what Parliament is doing and public confidence in Parliament. Actions that may put at risk journalists' ability to report freely are a significant concern."

The Privileges Committee will also consider a complaint by the Green Party that GCSB inquiry head David Henry was in contempt of the House for accessing Independent MP Peter Dunne's parliamentary email record.