What is a gazette?

A gazette is an official publication for the purpose of notifying the actions and decisions of the government. All Australian governments (Commonwealth, State and Territory) publish official gazettes.

Notices published in government gazettes cover all aspects of government concern and regulation, and most are published because of a requirement of law. Acts, regulations and other subordinate legislation are notified in all gazettes, with some states publishing regulations in full as part of the notification.

What you might find in a gazette

Gazettes contain some surprising information:

  • proclamations which bring Acts into operation
  • Public Service vacancies, appointments and promotions
  • government tenders
  • land notices: acquisition, disposal and transfers of property, leases granted
  • lists of awards, honours, medals
  • electoral notices
  • government orders of various kinds
  • private notices of a legal nature e.g. bankruptcies, company registrations and windings-up, probate, by-laws of companies under royal charter
  • government purchasing matters
  • local government matters
  • registers of medical professionals

What is the best way to start looking for government notices in a gazette?

  • Start with what you know - for example a person's name, occupation, dates, land tenures.
  • Use the gazette index when available. The index will help you confirm your facts and provides a page number and date. The Commonwealth of Australia Gazette Index may be bound separately or bound with the General Gazette, depending on the date. Most state and territory gazette indexes are found with the gazette itself.
  • Know the name of the Act - in some gazettes you need to search the index under the relevant piece of legislation.

We have included examples of typical questions about gazettes in these pages.