The Marape Government has today made history by allowing the live broadcast and telecast of National Parliament proceedings in its entirety to Papua New Guinea and the world.
Deputy Speaker Hon. Koni Iguan, while making the announcement as Parliament resumed this morning, said the PNG National Broadcasting Corporation radio and television services would be carrying the sessions live past Question Time and Grievance Debate.
The Deputy Speaker said the national broadcaster had requested for the extended live coverage to meet its “community service obligation to our citizens and stakeholders”, which was agreed to recently by the Parliamentary Committee on Broadcast.
“The committee agreed that it is important for extended coverage of the parliamentary programme because this will allow our people to have full knowledge of what takes place in Parliament during a session. This will promote the work of Parliament and keep our communities informed,” said the Deputy Speaker.
Prime Minister Hon. James Marape, speaking outside of Parliament, applauded the decision by the Committee and thanked the Speaker for this important decision.
He said the importance of sound information on governance in this era of information overload and distortion has to be countered with first-hand information, especially for Papua New Guineans at this time as they head into the elections.
“We can never undervalue the power of information. Information is the oil in the wheel of democracy, and at this time as we head into the National General Elections, we want our people to be properly informed so they can make informed choices at the polls; so they can make informed decisions in their work and everyday lives; so they can participate meaningfully in the growth of our country,” said the Prime Minister.
“For the first time since 1975, a government has put first the need for direct information of the general Papua New Guinean public. We want our people to have a peek into the national legislative chambers, to listen directly to debates on Bills and see how your local Members and governors are voting, to listen to and understand the importance of reports being presented, to know the grievances your MPs are bringing to the floor of Parliament. This will allow you to engage meaningfully on public forums and to ask your Members of Parliament the right questions; to lobby and support your MPs in issues of national importance.
“This is part of accountability, accessibility and transformation for our people that the Government, under my watch, is now promoting. As you will note, this is unlike past governments where leaders did not allow broadcast and television access to the full Parliament proceedings.
“We want strong well-informed Papua New Guineans to participate in nation-building.”
Invitation is also extended to other stations to broadcast and televise the sessions if they so wish.