Features common to all NSW Acts

All principal and amending NSW Acts have at least the following kinds of provisions.

Long title

The long title is located at the beginning of a NSW Act. It begins with the words "An Act", followed by a statement about what the Act deals with.

For example, the long title for the Crown Land Management Act 2016 is:

  • "An Act to make provision for the ownership, use and management of the Crown land of New South Wales; to repeal certain legislation consequentially; and for other purposes."

Enacting formula

The enacting formula occurs after the long title, but before the substantive text of a NSW Act. It indicates that the Parliament has made the law. The current enacting formula for NSW Acts is:

  • "The legislature of New South Wales enacts:"

The enacting formula is usually omitted from versions of the Acts posted on this website in HTML format under the authority given by section 45E of the Interpretation Act 1987. The enacting formula appears in the As Made version of the Act on this website.

Citation section

The citation section is the first section of a NSW Act. It specifies the name (sometimes called the short title) of the Act.

Commencement section

The commencement section is typically the second section of a NSW Act and provides for when the Act commences.

A commencement section may take a variety of forms, including the following:

  • The Act may commence on its date of assent (which is the day the Governor signs it into law on behalf of the Queen).
  • The Act may commence on a day (or a combination of different days) after the date of assent appointed by a proclamation of the Governor published on this website.
  • The Act may commence on a particular day specified by the commencement section.
  • The Act may commence on the occurrence of a particular event specified by the commencement section (a common example of this is when an Act is commenced on the commencement of some other Act).

Section 23 of the Interpretation Act 1987 provides for the commencement of a NSW Act in the unlikely event that the Act does not have a commencement section. In this case, commencement will happen 28 days after its date of assent.

Unless the Act provides differently, the Act will commence at the beginning of the day concerned because of the operation of section 24 of the Interpretation Act 1987.


Last updated 30 August 2020 at 14:32