Some of New South Wales’ most notable former politicians will re-take centre stage on the floor of the NSW Legislative Assembly (known as the bear pit), for a frank and robust discussion around policy, ethics and the personal, as part of the Parliament’s first ever online panel event: Bare Pit.

Former Premier’s Nick Greiner AC and Bob Carr, former Opposition Leader Kerry Chikarovski and former Minister Sandra Nori will return to their old stomping ground, unshackled from the political pressures of old, to engage in a frank and fearless discussion alongside Sydney Morning Herald’s political and international editor Peter Hartcher, and Sky News Australia’s First Edition host Laura Jayes.

The joint initiative between the NSW Parliament and The Ethics Centre will mark International Parliament Day on 30 June. The live broadcast will be streamed via the Parliament’s Facebook page for one captivating hour and will be facilitated by Ethics Centre Director, Dr Simon Longstaff AO.

Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly Jonathan O’Dea said what better way to showcase our Parliament as a modern and ideas-focused place than inviting some of our most esteemed former members back into the House for a live online event.

“While the behaviours of the past have left our chamber affectionately known as the ‘bear pit’, this event is all about the unscripted and raw exchange of ideas, as some of our greatest minds lay their thoughts out bare.

“I want the Parliament to be more visible, accessible and connected to the people of NSW, and while our doors might be shut because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this first-of-its-kind event will allow us to engage with an online audience that wants to see the tough topics tackled, and has an interest in the health of our democracy,” he said.

Bare Pit facilitator Dr Simon Longstaff said the event comes at an opportune time.

“Our elected representatives are being asked to navigate a world of increasing complexity – with new technological, economic and geopolitical realities bearing down on us at a time when trust in our key institutions is at a low point. The need for our politicians to be at the ‘top of their game’ has never been greater,” Dr Longstaff said.

Aside from the special guests who will take their positions inside the Chamber, Bare Pit will also involve a limited number of current MPs, who will fire questions at the group from their positions in the live audience.

Bare Pit will be live streamed via the NSW Parliament’s Facebook page from 1pm on 30 June 2020.

About The Ethics Centre:

The Ethics Centre is a not-for-profit organisation developing and delivering innovative programs, services and experiences, designed to bring ethics to the centre of personal and professional life.

Across all their work, the Centre aims to diagnose, prevent and cure the sources of ethical failure, increase ethical literacy through education and information, and develop and deliver tools to empower good decision making.

They remain committed to injecting a pause into the centre of public life and allowing people to stop, connect with others and explore the ethical dimension of our everyday lives.