Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Rules - how Sunday's debate will be conducted


The Prime Minister Julia Gillard will debate the Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott.

Location National Press Club of Australia, Canberra

Time 6:30 pm Sunday 25 July 2010

Duration 1 hour

1. The debate will be moderated by David Speers, Political Editor Sky News

2. The Leaders will be questioned by a panel of three (3) senior federal parliamentary journalists:

. Chris Uhlmann – Political Editor ABC News 24
. Laura Tingle – Political Editor Australian Financial Review
. Malcolm Farr – National Political Editor Daily Telegraph

3. There will be a limited live audience made up of representatives of the political parties, the parliamentary press gallery and the National Press Club.

4. The debate will open with a three (3) minute opening statement by both Leaders

5. The moderator will ensure both Leaders are given equal treatment and time

6. The moderator will conduct a discussion allowing both Leaders to pursue the major issues of the election campaign viz (not in any particular order)

. Economy
. Foreign relations and security including asylum seekers
. Health
. Education
. Environment
. Small business
. Regional and rural Australia
. Job creation
. General

7. As directed by the moderator, the panellists will ask questions to each Leader in turn....

. Leaders will not ask questions of each other during the debate

. Answers to questions will be up to a maximum of three minutes by each and up to a maximum of one (1) minute rebuttal for each. There will be strict time limits on answers.

8.The moderator will immediately intervene to prevent either leader from interrupting the other while speaking. The moderator may direct the executive producer to mute the microphone of the non speaker to ensure questions are answered without interruption.

9.The debate will finish with the moderator asking a general question to both Leaders in order to allow them to sum up for a maximum of three (3) minutes

The Leader who makes the first opening statement will be the first to make a closing statement
10. A coin will be tossed to determine who will make the first opening statement.

11. The Leaders will use standing lecterns positioned at opposite sides of the stage. The panel will be seated at a desk.

12. The Leaders may have a pen and paper on the lecturn and no other documentation or props.

13. The NPCA is to make arrangements for broadcast of the debate. The ABC will be the host provider of all production and direction services to the debate.The ABC will provide a clean live feed of the debate to all other media outlets. There is no restriction to audience response meters by broadcasters.

14. Three federal parliamentary accredited photographers will be selected to take photos on a pool basis prior to the debate up to 6:20 pm and after the conclusion of the debate. Photography will not be permitted during the debate. Photos shall be provided to all media outlets on a “pool” basis without charge or attribution and or claim for copyright.

15. General These rules have been established by the agreement of both parties and the board of the National Press Club Given the unique staging and production requirements, for this event it is not possible to have other news and production crews in attendance Debate footage – the parties agree not to use the debate footage for the purposes of the 2010 election campaign.

Camera close ups shall be restricted to the Leaders and the panellists and not the audience At the conclusion of the debate no other person is to be allowed on the stage or set. Production and audio management issues are to be mutually agreed by the parties and the National Press Club. No audience microphones are to permitted Audience members are not permitted to use any personal electronic equipment such as mobile phones, cameras or laptops.

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