Information for the press
Press gallery members report the proceedings in the House and select committees. To become a member of the press gallery, journalists must apply to be accredited to the Chair of the press gallery and then to the Speaker.
A press gallery journalist's role is to provide specialised coverage and analysis of political and parliamentary news to the public — to look over the shoulders of members of Parliament and those who serve them. When Parliament sits, accredited journalists observe from reserved seats in the press gallery, which is immediately above the Speaker's chair.
As well as access to the press gallery, members of the gallery are provided with office accommodation and other facilities within the parliamentary complex.
Accredited press, agency, radio and television journalists have permission to move through the rest of Parliament. This allows them to report decisions and announcements, official advice, and informal news and events.
The press gallery is self-governing. Each year its accredited journalists elect a Chair, a Deputy, and a Treasurer.
The gallery is thought to have existed since 1870, when the first reporter was given a pass to cover that session of Parliament.
There are now over 100 members, who together provide almost all of the country's political news and commentary.