Hansard is a record of speeches, questions and answers and procedural events in the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly and is known as Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). Hansard also reports and provide transcripts of evidence given to standing and select committees, in hearings held both in-house and elsewhere throughout the state.
Hansard is a 'substantially verbatim' report —
Hansard is a full report, in the first person. The member’s words are used. However, obvious mistakes are corrected and redundancies and needless repetition removed. Clarity is provided; ambiguity and elegant variation are avoided. Nothing should be omitted from the transcript that adds to the meaning of the speech or illustrates the argument advanced, and nor should words be altered unless they are incorrectly used.
Hansard reporters sit at the table of the house to take their report for 10 minutes as part of a running roster. It takes the reporter about an hour to transcribe and edit that portion of debates.
Reporters use either a computer-aided transcription shorthand machine that translates directly into the written word, or dictate from the audio recording creating text using voice recognition technology. Shorthand reporters are capable of writing between 180 and 200 words a minute.
The debates are edited to conform to Parliament’s editing guidelines, which are drawn from Erskine May: Parliamentary Practice.
Subeditors review the reporters’ copy of debates to ensure consistency of style and application of the editing guidelines, and that the procedures in the chamber are recorded accurately.
Hansard (Reporting Services) is also responsible for broadcasting parliamentary proceedings. Proceedings are broadcast throughout the parliamentary precinct, to ministerial offices and via web streaming and are available through the Watch and Listen page on this website.
Some committee hearings are also broadcast.
A broadcast record of proceedings in the WA Parliament have been recorded since May 2003. An accessible online archive for the current term of Parliament is available.
Hansard is published progressively on the Parliament’s web page during a sitting day. Annual bound volumes are available from the State Law Publisher. The bound volumes are the official record of parliamentary debates and incorporate any corrections made after the publication of the finalised Hansard. An index is published online quarterly and an annual index accompanies the bound volumes.
Transcripts of evidence given in public committee hearings are available through the relevant committee at the conclusion of the hearing.
To find out about the history of Hansard visit History, House and Grounds.