Parliament can be an excellent source of information


Hansard is the official record of Parliamentary proceedings. Although not strictly word for word, it is verified and accurate. These edited transcripts document debates in the Senate, House of Representatives, Federation Chamber and Parliamentary Committees at the national level; and in the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly at the State level. If you are looking for transcripts of State Parliamentary Committee proceedings such as inquiry hearings, you will need to visit the website of that particular Parliamentary Committee. 

Using Hansard

You may wish to use Hansard to find out the reasons for the introduction of a particular piece of legislation, or to read Parliamentary debate on a particular issue of interest to you. You may also wish to use Hansard to find out what issues are important to the Members of Parliament (MPs). You can find a record of an MPs speeches in Parliament, on their individual profile pages. MPs often use their First Speech or Inaugural Speech to highlight the issues that are most important to them. This can be useful if you are trying to find an MP sympathetic to your cause to discuss your concerns with or to ask a question in Parliament.

There are separate Hansards at the NSW and Australian levels.

Parliamentary Committees and inquiries

The reports and transcripts of Parliamentary Committees and inquiries are a good place to get an overview of a particular issue. Each Committee may conduct several different inquiries. There are also standing Committees, which are ongoing, and special Committees, which may be set up for a certain period of time. Reading any submissions made to those committees and inquiries will give you a good idea of different viewpoints surrounding that issue. You can also make your own submission, to have your say.

To read about Australian Parliamentary Committees, visit the Parliament of Australia website:

To read about NSW Parliamentary Committees, visit the NSW Parliament website:

Questions in Parliament

Two types of questions can be asked in Parliament – questions without notice, and questions with notice. Read more on the Australian Parliament website and the NSW Parliament website.

Questions without notice are questions asked in Parliament during Question Time.

Questions on notice are written questions submitted by Members of Parliament to Ministers. Both questions and answers are published on the Parliament’s website, with answers provided within 35 days.

This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.