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Legislation: Bills and Explanatory Memoranda

Bills and EMs

A Bill is a piece of draft legislation introduced to parliament with the aim of having it passed into law. A Bill will only become law if it successfully passes through both houses of parliament. During its passage through parliament a Bill is debated on a number of occasions and may change considerably before passing into law.  Not all Bills successfully pass through parliament and become law.

Explanatory Memoranda (sometimes called explanatory notes, depending on jurisdiction) are documents presented to parliament in the early stages of a bills passage through parliament. An explanatory memorandum seeks to explain what provisions in a particular Bill mean, and what the Bill is attempting to achieve if passed as law.

Explanatory Memoranda can be invaluable tools in terms of understanding why a law was enacted, what it was designed to achieve, and what it actually means.

International Jurisdiction Bills and Explanatory Memoranda

Selection of Parliamentary links. Remember to look for the relevant Government Department homepage for more information.

Commonwealth Bills and Explanatory Memoranda

New South Wales Bills and Explanatory Notes

Bills from other Australian States and Territories