Public barring criticised


INSTITUTE of National Affairs executive director Paul Barker has criticised the barring of members of the public from their gallery at Parliament House during its first sitting.
Barker said it was disappointing that Parliament forgot its prime audience who the MPs are there to serve and represent.
“It is critical that the public is welcomed and given access,” he said.
“Albeit that the space is limited, and clearly during a major event, such as selecting a new prime minister and Government, there wouldn’t be room to host all interested viewers from the public.
“But some system of selection is needed, if only on a first-come-first-serve (basis).”
Barker thanked the media for relaying the happenings in House for the benefit of the people.
He said the first siting of Parliament was a very important event which the ordinary citizen should be able to view.
The public gallery on Wednesday was filled by department heads and members of the diplomatic corp.
The public was advised to view and hear the sitting via television and radio.

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