Ministerial document service : daily collation of Ministers' and Opposition Leaders' statements 1976-2001

A daily collation of press statements by Federal Government ministers and the leaders of opposition parties. Includes press releases, speeches, grants made, major contracts let and appointments of government agencies. (Request through the catalogue)

PM Transcripts. Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

This collection of transcripts from Australian Prime Ministers contains approximately 20,000 individual speeches, media releases and other transcript items dating from the early 1940's.

Key websites

Parliament of Australia : the official website of Australian parliament. It includes information on parliamentary departments, links to committee reports, full text of bills, speeches, biographical information, parliamentary publications, and more.

Making Laws : describes the passage of a bill through federal Parliament.

Parliamentary committees : information about the committee system and lists the current and former Senate, House and Joint Committees.

The Parliamentary Education Office (PEO) : provides parliamentary education services to schools, teachers and students.

Commonwealth Budget : includes budget speech, budget overview and guide, and portfolio budget statements.

High Court of Australia : general information, sitting days, text of recent judges' speeches etc.

What does the Library hold?

The National Library collects government publications, general works, manuscripts and other material can be accessed through the Catalogue. Items include:


  • To browse the Catalogue for portraits of politicians; search by 'Occupation' for ‘federal politicians’. Use the 'Limit Your Search' options on the right-hand side of the search results to limit your search by 'Format' to ‘Picture’. You can also search for names and events, limiting the format to ‘Picture’.

Oral Histories

Reference Collection

Available on open access in the Main Reading Room

Parliamentary handbook of the Commonwealth of Australia 1901+
Information on the parliament, biographical details of parliamentarians, election information and historical statistics.
Call number: RF 328.94 AUS
Also available online from the Parliament House website

House of Representatives Practice 6th edition, 2012
Explanation of the laws and practices of the House of Representatives including: roles of office holders, the parliamentary calendar, motions, legislation, Senate amendments, questions and committees etc.
Call number RF 328.9405 A938-6

Odgers’ Australian Senate Practice 1953+
Explanation of the laws and practices of the Senate including: its constitutional role, parliamentary privilege, elections, officers, motions and amendments, debate, legislation, committees and relations with the Executive Government and the judiciary.
Call number: NLq 328.9405 ODG; latest issue in the Main Reading Room Reference Collection

Finding Government publications

GovPubs : the Australian Government Publications Guide is a guide to locating selected types of Australian government publications, including Acts, Hansards, Gazettes and Parliamentary Papers.

GovPubs has a description of each type of publication, and what you can expect to find in the documents. It also includes information about changes in titles, dates of publications and available indexes.

Use the Browse by Publication function to find Government publications in National, State and Territory libraries and online.

Committee reports are bound with Parliamentary papers, or you can search for reports by committee name in the Catalogue, for example, Final report / Select Committee on the National Broadband Network

Case Study

Q: Can you please help me find the 1993 Australian Labor Party election proposal? It contains details about the proposed dental reform for low income earners and pensioners.

Media releases (including speeches) can be found in the Ministerial document service: daily collation of Ministers' and Opposition Leaders' statements. We can check January to March 1993, leading up to the election.

Nothing in the monthly indexes specifically mentions the Dental Reform program; however the election statements by the Prime Minister (Paul Keating) and by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health (Brian Howe) are included.

The earliest speech which mentions the Dental Reform Program is from Brian Howe, in a speech in Port Macquarie on the "Fight for Medicare" (Page 6660 of the Nos. 139 - 156 Ministerial Document Service) on 24 February:

"Today the Prime Minister announced initiatives which extend the caring arm of Medicare.

"First, a public dental scheme for those people who really need it. All health card holders - that is two million Australians - will now be eligible for free dental services".

The Prime Minister's speech is not in this volume, but can be accessed online at The Museum of Australian Democracy, Old Parliament House. This is also dated 24th February 1993. However, no details are given, just the general outline:

"A new Commonwealth dental health program will be established for emergency and basic dental care for health card holders."


Senate and House of Representatives members' roll

Senate and House of Representatives members' roll on the occasion of the first meeting at Canberra 9th May, 1927 / the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia. the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia. nla.aus-vn6161695

Members' Roll, 1927


The AGWA service is now integrated into the Library's single discovery service, Trove, and can be accessed through the Websites category.


From 1960 until 1992 the Library maintained newspaper clipping files containing articles from major Australian metropolitan newspapers. Many of these clippings files, including those relating to Australian politics and government, have been catalogued and are available to request online. For an overview of what is available please refer to our page on Clippings.

Useful collections of newspaper cuttings to support research into Australian politics and government include:

Biographical files on parliamentarians are also available, such as:

There are also some bound volumes of newspaper clippings that have been compiled to cover certain major periods, such as:

Not sure where to start?