The Australian Constitution defines the boundaries of law-making powers between the Commonwealth and the States/Territories.

What does the library hold?

Use GovPubs to locate government publications in the National and State libraries.

For general works, search the Catalogue. Select the Browse alphabetically tab, then subjects from the drop-down list. Some examples are:

Queensland. Legislative Assembly
Victoria. Parliament
Premiers -- New South Wales
Norfolk Island -- Politics and government

State and Territory Libraries

Your State or Territory library may hold complete sets of parliamentary documents.

Libraries ACT: The ACT Heritage Library collects ACT Government publications and the publications of other jurisdictions where the content relates to Canberra.

The State Library of New South Wales has a guide on Government Publications: New South Wales

The Northern Territory Library  has a guide to Cabinet records

The State Library of Queensland has guides on law resources, covering government publications.

The State Library of South Australia has a guide on Government & Parliamentary publications and archival records.

LINC Tasmania has a guide on Law and Government

The State Library of Victoria has a guide on Victorian government publications

The State Library of Western Australia

Case Study

A researcher would like to get an online copy of the second reading speech of the South Australian Development Act 1993.

Bills must pass through the House of Assembly and the Legislative Council before becoming an Act (either House may introduce the Bill). The Second Reading speech for the Assembly and Council are usually identical. A Second Reading speech explains the content of the Bill in non-legal terms. 

South Australian Hansards are available online from 1993 on the Parliament of South Australia website. Search by keyword or date (use the search link in the menu). The Development Bill was introduced by the Minister of Housing, Urban Development and Local Government Relations, and the Second Reading speech was on 10th March, see pages 2433-2443.

The Legislative Council received the Bill from the House of Assembly on 31st March 1993. The Second Reading speech in the Legislative Council was on 1 April 1993, see pages 1849-1859.

When we know the dates that apply to a bill, an easy way to follow its passage is to use the Calendar search function.

There is more information about the Development Act 1993 at the South Australian Attorney General’s Department .

Official reports of the parliamentary debates (Hansards) are also available in print for the following dates:

1914-1951
1952-1993
Legislative Council from 1993
House of Assembly from 1993