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How to search and use Hansard

About Hansard online

You can search and read Hansard from the most recent sitting day back to 1870.

The Hansard Search includes the records of proceedings of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly. Although Hansard also reports and provides a record of evidence given to parliamentary committees, these transcripts do not currently form part of the Hansard search database. The records of committee activities can be found through the search function on the Committees page under Parliamentary Business.

Partial publication of the day’s proceedings are available online during a sitting day. The complete draft daily Hansards of questions without notice, questions on notice, speeches and other proceedings generally appear online within three hours of the house rising while the printed version is published and made available each morning following the sitting. Finalised Hansards are available at the following times —

  • For Tuesday by 2.00 pm, Friday
  • For Wednesday by 5.00 pm, Friday
  • For Thursday by 2.00 pm, Monday following a sitting week

Please note: Public holidays may result in delays.

The draft Hansard will contain a watermark 'Uncorrected Proof'. Although we encourage you to use the Hansard record, the uncorrected proof should not be quoted as it may be subject to further correction. Once corrected, the watermark is removed and the document may be directly quoted.

Searching Hansard

Two search options are available under the Hansard Search—a basic search and an advanced search.

Please see information on copyright in relation to reproduction of Parliamentary Debates (Hansard).

Basic Search

The basic online search defaults to 2013 to limit the volume of data that potentially arises during a search.

Search results are activated by entering words or phrases in the search field and pressing search on the screen with your mouse or pressing enter on your keyboard.

You can refine your search using Boolean operators.

Boolean operators are simple connecting words such as (AND, OR, NOT or AND NOT) or symbols (', ()) that allow a user to include or exclude items in a text search resulting in more refined or focused results.

You may search for exact phrases by placing quotation marks around multiple words. For example, 'regional airfares in Western Australia' will return results in which the whole phrase exists. You can also search multiple phrases. Searching without quotations will search each individual word when they appear in the document and not necessarily the phrase.

You can also use:

AND – requires both terms to be returned in order to appear as a result

OR – means that either term can be returned in the results

NOT and AND NOT – searches the first term and then subtracts from the results any search containing the second search term.

() – brackets around words or phrases to search the word or term first and then any text outside the brackets that are not enclosed.

Other Boolean operators will also apply.

Advanced Search

The advanced search includes the option of a detailed word and phrase search. This negates having to use Boolean operators.

The advanced search provides various filter options for searching, which will serve to refine your search and the volume of results. These include —

  • three time periods for searching; 2001 – current; 1996 – current; 1870 – current;
  • member;
  • customising by periods up to 12 months or by specifying dates;
  • house;
  • proceeding type;
  • page number of Hansard;
  • bill; and
  • committee

The Advanced Search also contains a hyperlink to the Hansard archive 1870 – 1995 by decade.

The committee search within the Hansard search option limits the search to when committees are referenced in the house; for example, when inquiries are initiated by the house(s) or committee reports are tabled in the house(s). This search does not provide transcripts of committee hearings. As detailed, these can be located through the Committee Search on the Committees page or under the relevant committee or inquiry. A link to the committees search is provided from the Hansard page.

Clicking the box Word Variants in the Hansard advanced search will find variations on a word, and a Fuzzy Search will find similar words or phrases.

An option exists to limit the number of results per page and sort the order by date (ascending and descending) and the relevance (highest number of results against search criteria for the extract).

Results

Search results will appear in order of date (defaulting to most recent first) and page, subject, house, members, daily Hansard and sitting broadcast.

By clicking on the date, you will access the extract pertaining to your search criteria (i.e. member, subject, et cetera). The daily Hansard is a PDF of the day’s proceedings of which the extract forms a part. The commencement of member speeches indicate times, which can be used to assist searches for certain proceedings in the broadcast record.

The accompanying video broadcast will take you to the day’s sitting broadcasts. For further information on video broadcasts, see information under video broadcasts below.

Estimates

The Hansard record for parliamentary (Budget) estimates hearings for the Legislative Assembly can be accessed through the Hansard Search advanced search option. 

The Hansard record for the parliamentary (Budget) estimates hearings for the Legislative Council can be accessed through the Estimates and Financial Operations Committee.

Budget estimates for both houses can be accessed through the Scrutiny of Finance page, accessible via a link on the right hand side of the Hansard page.

Questions

Parliamentary questions can be searched for by selecting Questions without Notice or Questions on Notice from the list of proceedings within the advanced search function.
A dedicated page on Parliamentary questions is also available under Parliamentary Business.

Daily Hansard Calendar

The calendar acts as a quick link to the daily Hansard and broadcast footage for that day’s chamber proceedings. Simply click on the day in the calendar to access the related daily Hansard and video record. The records appear in a ‘tree view’ format. You will be required to select the record(s) pertaining to the Legislative Council or Legislative Assembly. You can move between various sitting dates and associated records by expanding and collapsing the date options.

Hansard Index

Hansard produces on a quarterly basis two indexes to the parliamentary debates — Questions and Speeches by Members and a Subjects Index.

Video Broadcast

Video broadcasts are available from the most recent sitting day back to the commencement of the current term of Parliament. The videos accompany the daily Hansard and can be accessed through the Hansard advanced search or by clicking on the daily Hansard calendar.

Within the Advanced search, click on the broadcast link and you will be referred to the relevant broadcast within a 'tree view' structure for the broadcast archive. The daily Hansard calendar search will take you straight through to the 'tree view' for the date clicked on.

The broadcast archives provide the option to click on the year and month for the required broadcast and then the broadcast itself. The daily broadcasts are segmented into time periods.

Although the videos are not searchable, the accompanying Hansard is timestamped and will provide a reference point for identifying the required video footage.

To activate the broadcast, you simply double-click on the relevant broadcast you wish to access and once opened, fast forward using the playback slider.

To download a video from the archive, right-click the link and select 'Save target as' in Internet Explorer or 'Save link as' in Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. This will allow the video to be fast-forwarded or the progress cursor to move to future points within the video. Please be aware of file sizes if downloading videos.