Hansard is the official report of the proceedings of the Parliament of Victoria from 1856 to the present day. It is a comprehensive record of the debates that shape legislation and the speeches that inform policymaking in Victoria. Proceedings from 1851 to 1856 were reported in the Argus newspaper.
Hansard captures key issues affecting Victorians, the government’s priorities, the views and policies of opposition parties and concerns individuals or groups have raised with their local member.
Hansard is published progressively on sitting days. You can find a member’s speech on Browse Hansard within 3 hours. A proof version of the full day’s proceedings is published 4 hours after the sitting day has finished. A final version of Hansard is available five working days later.
Hansard’s publishing team corrects for grammar and obvious factual errors. Hansard is substantially verbatim and some parliamentary formalities are shown in summarised form – for example, divisions (votes) and procedural motions.
Members can review Hansard and suggest corrections to obvious errors, such as incorrect dates, names or figures, but they cannot ask for changes that alter the meaning of their speech.
The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and President of the Legislative Council give members the call – their turn to speak. Interjections are not usually recorded in Hansard unless they are responded to and relate directly to the matter at hand.
Incorporated material and quotes
Some parts of the Hansard report are incorporated, which means the words were not spoken in the chamber. This material is clearly indicated in Hansard.
Similarly, when members quote at length from articles, letters or emails, this material will be indented. Hansard requires members to provide the sources of their quotes.
From 1851 to 1856, Victoria had only one legislative body, the Legislative Council, which held its proceedings at St Patrick’s Hall in Bourke Street, Melbourne. Proceedings of the Council were reported in the Argus newspaper. Argus editorials concerning the Legislative Council have been included with reports of the proceedings. The Argus reports can be found in Browse Hansard.