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Australian Cases, Legislation and Law Reform: Legislation

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

Tasmanian Parliament

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Tasmanian Acts

As made (version of the act as it received Royal Assent)

Consolidated (incorporating subsequent amendments)

Point-in-time (version at a particular date)

Commencement Information

As a general rule, unless an Act specifies otherwise, Acts passed prior to 1 January 1982, are taken to have commenced on the date of Royal Assent, and from 1 January 1982, fourteen days after the Royal Assent. See Acts Interpretation Act 1931 – section 9.

Proclamations detailing commencement dates can be found in the Annual Volumes of Statutory Rules from 1954 onwards. Prior to that you have to search the Gazettes. Annual Indexes to Tasmanian Legislation also provide information that can be helpful.

Tasmanian Bills

Bills from 2002 - current are available on Tasmanian Parliament website.

Prior to 2002, bills are available in hard copy in several Australian libraries.

Explanatory Memoranda

There is no formal system for providing Explanatory Memoranda in Tasmania. As late as the 1990s, the provision of explanatory material on Bills was very rare. Since then, however, it has become more common to circulate Clause Notes or fact sheets to members of Parliament and the press, on an ad hoc basis. These are not formally published with the Bills. For explanations of the objectives of Bills, see the Second Reading speech for each Bill in Hansard.

Source: GovPubs

  • Bills Fact Sheets are available from 2009 - current on AustLII and the Tasmanian Parliament website. These factsheets provide useful summaries of the purposes of and background to bills.
  • Bill Clause Notes are available from 2009 - current on the Tasmanian Parliament website. Click on Bills > Progress of Bills > Name of the Bill. At the bottom of the bill table, links to Clause Notes and Fact Sheets are provided.

Tasmanian Parliamentary Debates


Before 1979 there were no official reports of the Tasmanian parliamentary debates. From 1920 the reports in the newspaper, The Mercury, were printed at the Parliament's expense and distributed to Members of Parliament and government departments. Parts of speeches were sometimes printed with the Journals. Since November 1995, the Tasmanian Hansard has been published only on the Internet.

The Tasmanian Parliamentary Library has complied a short history of hansard in Tasmania.

Second Reading Speeches

Before a bill is passed through Parliament, the objectives of the bill are presented to the Parliament. This is called the second reading speech. Second reading speeches can be found in Hansard (see box below). From 2009, a link to the second reading speech can be found with the relevant bill on the Tasmanian Parliament website. Click on Bills > Progress of Bills > Name of the Bill. 

Government Gazettes

The first official Tasmanian gazette/newspaper, the Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter, appeared in Hobart in 1816. It was preceded by two shortlived unofficial publications in 1810-14. After other name changes, it became known as the Tasmanian Government Gazette in 1907.

Government Gazette notices for the current month are available on Tasmania Online.

Hobart Town Gazette (1835 - 1880) is available in hard copy in the University Library.

Hobart Town Gazette (1825 - 1827) has been digitised through Trove.

Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen's Land Advertiser (1821 - 1825) has been digitised through Trove.

Hobart Town Gazette and Southern Reporter (1816 - 1821) has been digitised through Trove.

Tasmanian Statutory Rules

As made / sessional version

 Point-in-time version

Commencement Information

Proclamations detailing commencement dates for Statutory Rules can be found in the Annual Volumes of Statutory Rules from 1954 onwards (available in hard copy in the Law Library). Prior to that, this information can be found by searching the Government Gazettes. Annual Indexes to Tasmanian Legislation also provide information that can be helpful.

Finding relevant legislation on a topic

  • 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 (Tasmania)  
  • 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.