Finding parliamentary materials - transcript

This is a transcript of the video Finding parliamentary materials (YouTube, 4m22s).


Finding parliamentary materials.

Go to the main website of the parliament or government you are planning to search.

We're going to look at finding information on the Queensland Parliamentary website, but it's useful to know that the processes we are using here for finding information are similar for finding the same information at all Australian parliamentary websites, the UK, EU and Canadian parliamentary websites and the US Congress website.

Google [queensland] Parliament to get there fast.

From the top horizontal toolbar you can browse to a number of places to find useful information.

On the Explore Your Parliament tab, on the menu on the left, you can see: publications and reports.

You can browse each section individually if you like, or you can search using the search box in the top right hand corner of the page.

Let's try a simple search here using the word 'crime'.

You can see thousands of documents have come up in the results, you can then look to the main subject areas and categories to search further into your area of interest.

Next, let's try the Work of Committees tab,

Parliamentary Committees investigate specific issues and report back to the Parliament. Some committees have continuing roles to monitor and review public sector organisations or keep areas of the law or activity under review.

Go to the Committees link on the left hand toolbar to see the names and an explanation about what each committee does, you can also search former committees from here.

On the same page you can see Committee Publications and Reports on the right hand side. Click on Search for Committee Transcripts - this is where you can Search for Committee transcripts, and just about any material which has been submitted to, produced for or published for the Committee.

Look at all of the different types of material you can search.

Many of these types of documents like briefing papers, information papers, reports, and tabled papers can be useful.

These materials can be a valuable resource because they can contain information which is used to persuade politicians one way or another about decisions a committee or inquiry has to make.

Let's have a look at one of these publications - click on briefing paper - you can change your search if you are looking at a particular committee or inquiry.

Open the top result and have a quick look.

This one tells you where the document originated from, what it is, what bill it was created for, who it was created for and tells us what it is.

Let's go back to the Work of Committees tab.

Now we'll go further down the left hand toolbar to see Inquiries - here you can look at reports of parliamentary inquiries and ongoing investigations. You can click directly on an individual report to get more information, an overview, related publications and you can view submissions made to the inquiry.

These reports and their accompanying materials can be extremely useful when researching policy and governance.

Another good place to find information about legislation and reasoning behind new laws is on the Queensland Legislation website [On screen we see a google search for "qld legislation"]. Here you can access the Acts of Parliament themselves, and the changes and amendments made along the way.

When Bills are introduced into a parliament a great deal of information will have been relied upon to get it there. In many cases this information is summarised in a special section of information attached to the Bill called Explanatory Notes. These can be found at the office of the Parliamentary Council.

These are really useful in providing an understanding of why particular laws are made.

To find them, go straight to the Bills link on the main toolbar. Find the Bill you are looking for either by year or title. Let's look at a recent Bill. And let's click on its legislative history.

From here can see information about the bill, when it was introduced and when it became an Act, and you can see a link for Explanatory Note. Here you'll find information such as policy objectives, costs of implementation, lists of key stakeholders, who was consulted, and whether or not the bill is consistent with laws in other jurisdictions.

For help and more information contact the Law Library help desk or the Library website.

[Credits follow]

Script: Sandra Fry.

Voice over / Editing: Stephen Booth.

QUT Library.

[Video ends]