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Bills, Explanatory Memoranda & Hansard

Hansard is the official report of the debates of Parliament.  Hansard is the name given to the edited transcripts of parliamentary debates in the Senate, House of Representatives, Federation Chamber and parliamentary committees, and can be found on parliamentary websites. 

Hansard includes the transcript of the second reading speech for Bills. This is where the Minister introducing the Bill to the house of Parliament explains its general principles and purpose. Hansard is not a verbatim transcript of what occurs in the chambers but a faithful record of debate. It is generally corrected for redundancies, errors of fact, some grammatical errors, false starts and slips of the tongue. 

Hansard is:

  • official report of the debates and proceedings of the Parliament
  • published shortly after proceedings have ended
  • also known as Parliamentary debates or second reading speech
  • invaluable for trying to understand the purpose of an Act or section of an Act (or why a Bill was not passed)
  • Commonwealth Hansard is available for all Senate, House of Representatives, the Federation Chamber and all Parliamentary Committees


Note: in South Australia, the Daily Hansard is available on the internet after 4pm of the day following the sitting.

See the Calendar for sitting days: