Commonwealth government publications

Finding parliamentary papers

Parliamentary papers

Parliamentary papers are not available online as a complete series. Some papers and indexes are available online. Others can be accessed in print.

Up until 1966, parliamentary papers were bound in volumes covering a parliamentary session (usually two to three years). Since 1967, they have been bound in annual volumes. Note that bound volumes are prepared by SLV from bundles provided by the Parliament which are often late. The bound set on the shelves is usually one to two years behind.

In addition to the copy bound with parliamentary papers, we also receive second copies of some reports. Individual parliamentary papers received under the library deposit scheme are separately catalogued, e.g. annual reports are treated as serials, reports of royal commissions are catalogued as monographs. Check the catalogue for details.

There is no set of unbound parliamentary papers available for use.

Annual reports

Many government departments and instrumentalities place their annual reports online. Links to most Commonwealth government departments and instrumentalities can be found online.

From the relevant website there is usually a link to publications and, from there, to annual reports.

Some have been catalogued individually. Check the catalogue for details.

Parliamentary committees’ reports

Full text reports may be available from a parliamentary committee's website, but coverage varies. A list of parliamentary committees and links to their websites can be found online.

If not online then check print archives of the parliamentary papers. Printed indexes for 1970 to roughly one year ago are available.

Royal Commissions & Commissions of Inquiry

See Royal Commissions section of this guide.

About parliamentary papers

Parliamentary papers include Royal Commissions reports, committee reports, annual reports of departments and agencies, budget papers and White Papers (statements of government policy on significant matters) (source).

A useful fact sheet on parliamentary papers is available on the National Archives of Australia website:
Fact sheet 21 – parliamentary papers