Member for Kiama Gareth Ward MP has won a major concession with the October session of NSW Parliament proceeding on-line.
Mr Ward was the first MP to call for Parliament to reconvene utilising modern technology like other Parliaments from the House of Commons to the Commonwealth Parliament. Mr Ward wrote to the NSW Speaker in early July making the request - read my original letter here.
“In early July I wrote to the Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly calling for Parliament to reconvene using electronic means. A global pandemic is not a reason to put off Parliament but a reason to have it,” Mr Ward said.
“Churchill sat the House of Commons during World War II; with modern technology there is no reason why Parliament cannot sit during a pandemic.
“If Local Councils can meet remotely, I was stunned at the original push-back to have the Parliament meet online.
“Parliamentary oversight of the actions of the executive is not an optional extra. It is central to our democratic system.
“We have expected frontline workers like nurses, doctors, teachers, police and supermarket workers to return to work. The very suggestion that the snowflakes in Macquarie Street couldn’t go back to work beggars belief! It makes no sense that Dan Murphy’s has been open but the Parliament has been closed.
“I take my role as a local MP very seriously because my community expects me to represent their views and hold the Government to account. I cannot do the job they expect me to do if Parliament doesn’t meet in some form.
“I want to thank the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and the staff of the Parliament for their work to allow the Parliament to meet remotely. There is no reason why old institutions cannot be modernised in this way,” Mr Ward concluded.