Here are some of the key terms you will use. Click on the information icon for a definition.
Legislation constitute primary sources of law and comprise of laws passed by Parliament. Legislation is made up of Acts and Regulations. An Act begins as a proposal and becomes a Bill, which proceeds through its parliamentary stages, eventually becoming an Act. Once the Principle Act is passed, it can be altered by Ammendments.
In Australia, Acts must be passed by both house of either the Federal (Commonwealth) or State Parliament.
For more on legislation see:
Here are two examples of Acts:
To locate an Act you'll need to know the jurisdiction i.e. state or Commonwealth. This is often outlined in the long title. The jurisdiction will dictate which database you will need to search:
You can browse Acts alphabetically by title or you can search by keyword.
Here are some Regulations that relate to the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA):
These Regulations define who can decide on acceptable levels of noise etc, the penalties and how the decisions can be appealed.
To find the Regulations for a particular Act you can search:
Reading Hansard can be useful for understanding the background to issues and debates of the time.
Some Bills, e.g. Voluntary Euthanasia Bill 1998, a Western Australian Bill, have never been passed.
Search for current and previous Bills: