The NSW legislation website is established under Part 6A of the Interpretation Act 1987 as the official NSW government site for the online publication of legislation.
Section 45C (5) of the Interpretation Act 1987 enables the Parliamentary Counsel to certify the form of legislation that is correct. Most of the legislative content on this site has been so certified by the Parliamentary Counsel and in particular all items in:
The following categories of legislative content have not been so certified at this stage:
These items should be treated as being reference documents only and users should exercise their own skill and care with respect to the use of the material.
The authorisation of the legislation on this website is the product of a long process of moving from paper-based to electronic access to legislation. This process is one common to many Australian drafting offices, and was described in a paper given at the Commonwealth Association of Legislative Counsel (CALC) conference in Hong Kong in April 2009. The long march: pen and paper drafting to E-publishing law is an edited and updated version of that paper.
The In Force database is a dynamic collection of over 1,100 current NSW Acts, 600 statutory instruments and 300 environmental planning instruments (EPIs) in HTML format. This material is produced from the database compiled and maintained by the Parliamentary Counsel's Office. It is partitioned into 3 categories of instrument:
This material is constantly updated and any amendments are usually consolidated and annotated with currency details, tables of amendments and clause-by-clause histories, within a 3 day period of their commencement.
In addition to the currently in force material, the In Force database also contains a growing collection of historical versions of current legislation, effectively providing point-in-time access.
All titles in the In Force database have complete sets of historical versions from a base date of 1 January 2002. Selected titles in the In Force database have more extensive collections of historical versions, for example the Crimes Act 1900, and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and additional historical versions of key titles are in the process of being captured.
These are mainly 19th century Acts that passed through Parliament as Private Bills. They generally affect only a single individual or corporation and have a very limited application. A small number of titles with a wider and continuing application, are included on the In Force database. A list of all Private Acts appears in the Tables section. All Acts as enacted from 1824 are included in the As Made database.
The website also contains repealed legislation from a base date of 1 January 2002, and historical versions of that repealed legislation. Selected instruments repealed prior to that base date are targetted for capture. In these cases usually a single version, as in force immediately prior to the date of repeal, is available. For example the Interpretation Act 1897, Local Government Act 1919 and Traffic Act 1909.
Information indicating the Responsible Minister is provided on the Status Information page for current Acts in the In Force collection. See also Allocation of the Administration of Acts.
The As Made database is a collection of over 22,000 instruments (which is added to progressively as new legislation is made) in PDF and consists of 3 categories:
These are static documents and form a permanent archive of Acts and statutory instruments as they were originally passed or made. Lists of these instruments as originally passed or made are available from the Tables section.
The Bills database is a collection of Bills at all stages of the Parliamentary process (eg First Print, Second Print, Passed by both Houses), of Explanatory notes for Bills as introduced into Parliament and of Consultation drafts of Bills publicly released before introduction. The collection includes all Bills introduced from 2003 onwards.
These are static PDF documents and form a permanent archive. Bills (with Explanatory notes) are grouped in alphabetical order for the current and for other Parliamentary terms. Consultation drafts are all grouped together and there is a separate group of historic Explanatory notes for 1990–2002.
This material is constantly updated and the addition of new Bills, and updates to Bill information and PDF versions, are usually completed within 3 days of the relevant Parliamentary event. The material is provided for research purposes. The NSW Parliament website should be used for tracking the daily progress of Bills through Parliament and other Parliamentary information.
This feature gives official notice of the making of statutory instruments (regulations, rules and environmental planning instruments etc) on this legislation website rather than publication in the paper Gazette, as foreshadowed in the Interpretation Amendment Act 2006 and as outlined in Premier's Memorandum M2009-02 NSW Legislation Website: Authorisation of Online Legislation and Online Notification of New Statutory Instruments. The notification page links to the actual instruments, which are located in the As Made database.
The Notification feature applies to the following instruments (drafted by the Parliamentary Counsel's Office) as follows:
Notification enables instruments to be published online on a cumulative basis each week with a permanent archive facility for previous weeks and years.
Departments and agencies should refer to the Information sheet on notification of Statutory Instruments (including Environmental Planning Instruments) for notification requirements.
Local councils should refer to the Information sheet on the Online notification of delegated Local Environmental Planning Instruments. General information about the drafting and making of delegated LEPs is also available in Council information for delegated plan-making and from the website of the Department of Planning and Infrastructure.
The scope of instruments notified on the legislation website and available from the As Made database will progressively be extended to instruments of a legislative nature (whether orders, directions, guidelines, standards or other instruments) that are not statutory rules (ie regulations, by laws or rules made by the Governor in Council) or environmental planning instruments (ie State environmental planning policies or local environmental plans). These are commonly referred to as "miscellaneous statutory instruments".
These instruments are not drafted by the Parliamentary Counsel's Office, however to facilitate publication on the website, there are some basic technical requirements that need to be met:
This feature provides access to a range of user-generated interactive legislation information tables. The tables cover instruments in force and as made, applied laws, repealed instruments, Bills, and commencement information and can be generated to show information as at a specific date or over a specified period. The tables include links to In Force or As Made versions of the instruments where applicable.
The available tables are:
Each table page includes an information help bubble containing more detail about the particular table.
This section of the website also includes links to superseded print-based tables (including the former Legislation in Force guide) and other miscellaneous ancillary research material.
Some applied legislation (the laws of other jurisdictions and other government instrumentalities that are applied as laws of NSW) is not currently available on this website. A list of applied legislation appears in the Tables section. Notes and links to these laws will be provided on a progressive basis.
A small number of Acts (mainly amending titles) of little or no practical utility are not included in the In Force database.
A small number of principal local environmental plans (LEPs) are currently not available online.
Deemed environmental planning instruments under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 are not available online.
Private Acts of NSW—In Force database. The majority of mainly 19th century Acts that passed through Parliament as Private Bills are not included on the In Force database. These Acts generally affect only a single individual or corporation and have a very limited application. However, a small number of titles with a wider and continuing application are included. A list of all Private Acts appears in the Tables section. Note. All Acts as enacted from 1824 are included in the As Made database.
The NSW Government Gazette is available online in PDF.
The NSW legislation website is underpinned by the data set developed by the Parliamentary Counsel's Office using Standard Generalised Markup Language (SGML), which is an International Standard (ISO8879) for the descriptive markup of documents.
The website represents the culmination of several projects undertaken by PCO to provide and improve access to online NSW legislation. These projects include the development of LEGIS, a document management system used by PCO to manage the complete lifecycle of legislation from the initial drafting of instruments through to the publication and ongoing maintenance of legislation. The website and LEGIS are both built using the TeraText® Database System which is a high-performance, highly scalable repository that natively supports both SGML and XML. The website and systems were developed by SAIC Pty Ltd.
The legislative data set is available for purchase from the PCO. The data consists of the In Force and Repealed databases only (not the As Made database), and is updated on a weekly basis. The only format supplied is XML and a DTD (document type definition) is available on request. For further details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.