Hansard Search Help

Hansard search is based on Google.

This has the advantage of making available all of the most useful Google search functions. We can search for a phrase, exclude a word, find any combination of words, search with wildcards and so on. These logical functions are commonly known as Boolean operators. They are described in some detail in  Google’s search help pages which should be read by anyone intending to do serious searching.

Some search examples

These examples are based on the Hansard advanced search form.

Try this search.

Find this exact wording:

Light rail

The form will automatically put quotes around the exact wording and limit the results to the Hansard site as follows:

“Light rail” site:http://www.hansard.act.gov.au/hansard/

About 672 results (0.10 seconds)

These 672 results were from all years because no year has been specified. The actual number of results will increase as Google indexes more material.

You may limited the search to the year 2012 by adding 2012 to the site address as follows then pressing Enter:

“Light rail” site:http://www.hansard.act.gov.au/hansard/2012

About 54 results (0.34 seconds)

Make the search even more specific by adding another term (Google treats upper and lower case equally).

hunter “Light rail” site:http://www.hansard.act.gov.au/hansard/2012

About 21 results (0.13 seconds)

Change the year to compare results to a previous year:

hunter “Light rail” site:http://www.hansard.act.gov.au/hansard/2011

About 41 results (0.34 seconds)

Search engines rarely give absolute results. At most the results are approximations and will always require a bit of common sense to interpret. Google is one of the best search tools and is currently the most used. As part of its continuing improvement Google works with a dictionary of synonyms and  may attempt to help you with your search by looking for synonyms to the search terms as well as for the terms themselves. Google's use of “artificial intelligence” (AI) can make for some interesting browsing.

Find any of these words:

Light traffic

The search returned the following:

Light traffic site:http://www.hansard.act.gov.au/hansard/

About 1,630 results (0.27 seconds)

As demonstrated below, the AI results differ when the words are swapped around:

Find any of these words:

Traffic light

The search returned the following:

Traffic light site:http://www.hansard.act.gov.au/hansard/

About 145 results (0..29 seconds)

If you need an exact phrase you may assist the AI by enclosing the terms in quotes or by entering them in the exact wording field in the advanced search form. For example:

“Traffic light” site:http://www.hansard.act.gov.au/hansard/

About 81 results (0.25 seconds)

Google's default behaviour is to look for all the words (i.e. the default operator AND is implied between each word). To search for one or both of several words or phrases, you can use the OR operator (type 'OR' in ALL CAPS).

“Traffic signal” OR “Traffic light” site:http://www.hansard.act.gov.au/hansard/

About 117 results (0.22 seconds)

Finally, do remember to use the Hansard special indexes. Every sitting week a speech index is prepared for each member. There is also a subject index.  The indexes are cumulated at the end of each year.