Victorian government publications

A guide to Victorian government publications

What is Hansard?

h15476.2Hansard is the name given to transcripts of parliamentary proceedings, i.e., what is actually said in the Parliament. To find documents presented to parliament click on the Parliamentary papers  tab above and the Bills tab on our Finding Australian legislation guide. You can also check Parliamentary documents on the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary documents website.

From 1836 to July 1851 what is now Victoria was the Port Phillip District of New South Wales. Residents of the district elected members to the New South Wales Legislative Council (albeit on a restricted franchise).

For debates on legislation and other matters pertaining to Victoria before July 1851 see the reports of debates in the New South Wales Legislative Council (scroll to the bottom of the web page). Victoria was separated from New South Wales in July 1851.

For more on the history of Hansard see this information sheet.

Online–1824 to current

Parliamentary debates (Hansard)

1856 to 1999 Browse by date. Available for download.

1991 to current Search by keyword. Council or Assembly can be selected.

1999 to current Browse the Council volumes on left, browse the Assembly volumes on right. Available for download.

Prior to 1851 (NSW)

Until 1851 Victoria was known as the Port Phillip District of New South Wales. The debates of the NSW Legislative Council are available in the Votes and proceedings of the Legislative Council of New South Wales. From 1843 the debates were also published in the Sydney Morning Herald. The Votes and proceedings and Sydney Morning Herald reports for this period can be read online on the Parliament of New South Wales website (scroll down to the bottom of the web page).

Print/microfilm–1824 to current

Latest year (separate sequences: Council & Assembly)

Parliamentary debates, Legislative Council Hansard

Parliamentary debates, Legislative Assembly Hansard

1982–2014 (separate sequences: Council & Assembly)

Parliamentary debates, Legislative Council Hansard

Parliamentary debates, Legislative Assembly Hansard

1866–1982 (combined sequence: Council & Assembly)

Parliamentary debates, Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly Hansard (1958–1982)

Parliamentary debates, Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly Hansard (1866–1958)

1866–1902 also available on microfilm.  Use in preference to printed copies.

1856–57 to 1864–65 (vol.1 to vol.11)

The Victorian Hansard containing the debates and proceedings of the Legislative Council & Assembly of the Colony of Victoria

Debates before 1856 (Council)

1851–1890

Votes and proceedings of the Legislative Council during the session: with copies of the various documents ordered to be printed

N.B. Does not include actual debates, just record of proceedings but may be helpful in determining when debates occurred.

Debates in the Legislative Council were extensively reported in the press, notably in the Argus (online) but also in the Melbourne Herald (the name varied - available at the Library on microfilm, not online) and the Age (online 1854-1954) For more on searching newspapers try these guides.

Prior to 1851

Until 1851 Victoria was known as the Port Phillip District of New South Wales. During this time (from 1843) the debates of the NSW Legislative Council were only published in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH).

The Votes and proceedings of the Legislative Council of New South Wales for this period are held in print and microfilm. Use the online version in preference for both the Votes and proceedings... and the reports in the Sydney Morning Herald. See the 'Online' box above for details.

Indexes

Indexes to debates (Hansard)

1991 to current 

1958 to current

  • Index at back of printed volumes, 2 sequences (Council & Assembly) subject index, speaker, Bills by name under "Bills"

1856–1957

  • Index at back of printed volumes

1851–1855 (Council)

  • Print indexes to the Argus may be useful to trace dates of major debate, The Argus index has entries under "Victoria. Parliament" about parliament and under specific subjects for debates on a topic

The Argus (online) may be useful to trace major debates. Also the Library holds some hardcopy indexes to major daily newspapers. See this guide for more information.

 

State Library Victoria

LIBRARY UPDATE  

The Library is closed from December 25 to January 3. From January 4 2021 we will be partially open to pre-booked and walk-up visitors and our Ask A Librarian service will resume for assistance with your research inquiries online and over the phone.