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Australian Cases, Legislation and Law Reform: Legislation

Resources for finding cases, legislation and law reform information all Australian jurisdictions

South Australian Parliament

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

The South Australian Parliament's guide Understanding Legislation provides an overview on the legislation making process and sources of information. The guide is published by by the Attorney-General’s Department, Office of Parliamentary Counsel. 

Authoritative South Australian legislation

Legislation and other material contained on the South Australian legislation website is not the official authorised version. Authorised South Australian website is available from the Government Printer. See the South Australian Legislation website


As made (sessional Acts)

Acts in force (current Acts)

Consolidated Acts

Commencement Information

There are 3 methods employed for commencing an Act or bringing an Act into operation:

  • The Act may be silent—in which case the Act will come into operation on the day on which it is assented to (see section 7(1) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1915).
  • The Act may contain a commencement provision setting out a specified day or time when the Act (or part of the Act) comes into operation. Section 14D of the Acts Interpretation Act 1915 provides that when an Act, or part of an Act, comes into operation on a particular day, it will be taken to have come into operation as from 12 o'clock midnight of the preceding day.
  • The Act may contain a commencement provision stating that the Act (or part of the Act) will come into operation on a day to be fixed by proclamation. Section 7(3) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1915 enables the proclamation to:
    • fix different days or times for different provisions of the Act to come into operation
    • suspend the operation of specified provisions of the Act until a day or time or days or times to be fixed by subsequent proclamation or proclamation. 

The date fixed by proclamation may be delayed by further proclamation. Under section 7(5) of the Acts Interpretation Act 1915, if a proclamation is not made before the second anniversary of the date on which an Act enacted after 16 April 1992 was assented to, the Act will come into operation on that anniversary.

Commencement provisions often combine the above approaches.

Source: South Australian Legislation website

Commencement information for individual Acts can be found in the Index to South Australian Legislation.

Repealed legislation 

Information about repealed and ceased legislation is available from the South Australian Legislation website. This includes the text of Acts and regulations and rules made by the Governor that have ceased operation since 1 January 2003 and information about Acts and regulations and rules made by the Governor that ceased operation between 1 January 1976 and 1 January 2003. (However, for regulations and rules, the information is limited due to a past practice of deleting the information once the revoking regulations or rules had themselves ceased.)

For information about Acts and subordinate legislation that ceased operation before 1 January 1976, consult the Tables and Indexes in Volume 9 South Australian Statutes 1837-1936 and, for Acts, the 1975 Volume of South Australian Statutes. These volumes are available in the Law Library (see the catalogue record). The tables provide comprehensive repeal and amendment information.


Current and historical bills (from 2005) are available via the South Australian Legislation website. This includes all versions of the bill (as introduced into each house and as passed in each house).

Explanatory Memoranda

Explanatory Memoranda are not issued separately for Bills. However, since October 1977, the last part of a minister's second reading speech, giving a clause-by-clause explanation of a Bill, has been subtitled Explanation of Clauses. See the second reading speech for each Bill in the South Australian Hansard. Source: GovPubs

Parliamentary Debates

Hansard is the official report of the debates and proceedings of the Parliament.  Hansard is available online from August 1993 on the South Australia Parliament website. This includes member and subject indexes and a specific second reading speech search function.

Hansard from 1957 to 1992 is available in hard copy in the Law Library (see the catalogue record).

Government Gazettes

The Government Gazette is a weekly record of proceedings by the South Australian Government and Local Government Authorities. It contains, among other things, assent information and commencement information for Acts and Statutory Regulations.

It is available online from 1999 to current on the South Australian Government Gazette website.

Gazettes from 1839 to 1918 are available on AustLII.

Regulations and rules

Current consolidations, historical versions and ceased legislation from 2003 on the South Australian Legislation website.

Information about individual regulations and rules, including commencement details, is available in the Index to South Australian Legislation.

Finding relevant legislation on a topic

  • The Australian Law Librarians Association (South Australian Division) has created and maintains the Subject Index to South Australian Legislation. This index sorts legislation according to subject matter and focuses on the principal public Acts of South Australia.
  • LawLex - select the 'browse legislation', deselect all the jurisdictions and then select the jurisdiction you are researching. Then select the category and if necessary a sub category.
  • TimeBase LawOne (UniMelb staff & students) – Select 'Search' from the menu to go to the Advanced Search mode and refine by jurisdiction (Victoria)  
  • Tip: use secondary sources (books, legal encyclopaedia and journal articles) to identify legislation relevant to a topic.

Discussion of legislative provisions in journal articles

Journals are useful in finding discussion of legislation. 

Use AGIS to browse legislation discussed in journalsThe index feature allows you to search using indexed terms legislation and jurisdiction.  AGIS contains indexed articles from 1970 and full text articles from 1995.

Lexis Advance Pacific includes journals that cover a range of legislative areas. Journals include the Australian Journal of Corporate Law, Australian Journal of Family Law, Australian Journal of Labor Law, Australian Property Law Journal, Insurance Law Journal, Journal of Contract Law and the Media & Arts Law Review.  You can search all journals sources or select one and search using phrases, article title, author and/or article citation.

Westlaw AU subscribes to journals that cover legislative areas such as building and construction, environment and planning, family law, local government and public law.  Useful search features include 'legislation cited' and 'jurisdiction' search fields.