A guide to Victorian government publications
Hansard 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.
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).
Latest year (separate sequences: Council & Assembly)
1982–2014 (separate sequences: Council & Assembly)
1866–1982 (combined sequence: Council & Assembly)
1866–1902 also available on microfilm. Use in preference to printed copies.
1856–57 to 1864–65 (vol.1 to vol.11)
Debates before 1856 (Council)
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 to debates (Hansard)
1958 to current