The Speaker of Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory of Australia, the Hon Kezia Purick MLA, has said that her study visit to Tynwald has highlighted similarities between the two jurisdictions.
A two-day programme arranged by the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office provided Speaker Purick, who was accompanied by the Legislative Assembly’s deputy clerk Ms Marianne Conaty, with an overview of Tynwald’s parliamentary and committee proceedings, interparliamentary relations, community engagement and the production of Hansard.
She said: ‘After attending the Commonwealth Women’s Forum in London I was keen to travel on to the Isle of Man to visit Tynwald, as our Legislative Assembly is similarly a small parliament - 25 Members but just one House - serving a small population.
‘I was also interested to learn about how Tynwald’s Hansard service is providing capacity-building support to the Parliament of Sierra Leone and the National Assembly of The Gambia.’ Madam Speaker went on to say that proceedings of the Legislative Assembly were available as audio and video broadcasts. ‘We find video footage as well as audio broadcasts provides a means for Members to connect better with our 5000-strong electorate who expect to be able to see their politicians,’ she added.
She continued: ‘Prior to coming to the Isle of Man I was familiar with the tricameral structure of Tynwald, but less so with its fascinating 1000 years of history and the island’s Crown Dependency status. I had also learned a few Manx phrases, so was interested to learn that the Manx language is enjoying something of a revival.
‘It’s been a very worthwhile study visit that has served to highlight many similarities between our two jurisdictions and to learn that many of the issues that matter to people are fundamentally the same, be they living in the Northern Territory of Australia or the Isle of Man.’
The Speaker of the House of Keys, the Hon Juan Watterson SHK said: ‘The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association is a fantastic medium for parliamentarians to meet and discover more about each other’s ways of working. We are rightly proud of our history as well as of the innovations that Tynwald has pioneered and are always pleased to share them with visitors to our Isle. Speaker Purick and I presented on the same topic at a Commonwealth Conference in 2010, and so it has been fantastic to build on that friendship and I am confident it will continue.’
Photo of the Hon Kezia Purick MLA and the Hon Juan Watterson SHK courtesy of Paul Dougherty, Tynwald Seneschal