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This glossary provides descriptions of the main features of this site and the technical terms used in the general explanatory pages on this site.

Acts as Made are also called annual or sessional Acts. These are Acts as passed by Parliament and assented to by the Governor and traditionally maintained as bound annual volumes. On this site they are maintained in PDF as a static collection starting from 1824 and added to progressively as new Acts are assented to.

Advanced Search provides advanced search features using Common Command Language (CCL) - an international standard for text queries. Features such as the use of Boolean operators, fielded, proximity, phrase and wildcard searches/queries are available.

Amended in Committee refers to when a Bill has been amended in committee by a house of Parliament.

Applied laws are laws of other jurisdictions and other governmental instruments that are applied as laws of NSW. A list of applied laws can be generated here NSW Applied Laws in Force.

As Made legislation refers to the static versions of legislation as they were originally enacted or as published on this website or in the Gazette.

Authorised means the version of legislation compiled and maintained in the database of legislation by the Parliamentary Counsel's Office and published on the NSW legislation website and certified as the form of that legislation that is correct under section 45C of the Interpretation Act 1987 (see also About).

Bills are proposed Acts (although not all Bills are passed and become Acts).

Consultation drafts (also called exposure drafts) are drafts of Bills that have been released for public consultation by the Government.

Document menu means the light blue menu available in the fragment view when viewing documents in the In Force collection in desktop view mode, and from the Document menu button in mobile view mode. It includes buttons for functions such as Search Title, Historical Versions and Whole Title views.


DTD stands for Document Type Definition for SGML or XML documents. A DTD defines the components of a set of documents and the sequence in which those components or elements may occur. SGML and XML require the validation of all documents in a set defined by a DTD against that DTD to ensure that, broadly, all required elements are present, all elements occur in the correct sequence and that no undefined elements are used. The In Force legislation collection is created from an SGML database using specialised legislation DTDs.

Environmental planning instrument (EPI) means a State environmental planning policy or a local environmental plan (LEP) (including the Standard Instrument LEP) and, except where otherwise expressly provided by the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, includes a deemed environmental planning instrument. Note. A regional environmental plan is, from 1 July 2009, taken to be a State environmental planning policy (see clause 120 of Schedule 6 to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979).

EPIs as Made (Environmental planning instruments) means EPIs as published in the Gazette or, from 26 January 2009, on this website. On this site they are maintained in PDF as a static collection of annual EPIs and are added to progressively as new EPIs are made. The As Made database of EPIs contains the full text versions of all State environmental planning policies and regional environmental plans from a base of 1 January 1990. The full text versions of some local environmental plans (LEPs) became available from February 2001. The full text versions of all LEPs are available from September 2001.

Explanatory notes for Bills are the explanatory notes included with Bills when they are first introduced into Parliament.

Gazette (or Government Gazette) means the permanent public record of official notices issued by the NSW Government. The Gazette also includes some local council and other legal notices.

Historical versions are versions of legislation as in force at an earlier period of time. Information on historical versions for both In Force and Repealed legislation can be obtained from the "Historical versions" button in the document menu for an item of legislation currently being viewed.

Historical notes contain a detailed table of amending instruments and commencement details and a clause by clause amendment history. Historical notes for an Act or instrument in the In Force collection can be obtained by pressing the "Historical notes" link in the document menu.

HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. This is the non-proprietary language most commonly used for publishing online and is the format used for the In Force legislation on this site.

In Force legislation refers to legislation in the HTML consolidated legislation part of this website. All Acts (principal and amending), all principal statutory instruments (regulations, rules, by-laws etc) and all principal environmental planning instruments (EPIs) are added to the site as they are assented to or published, irrespective of whether they have commenced. Any amendments are consolidated in the target Act or instrument after they have commenced. Historical and repealed versions of legislation remain on the site but are clearly identified. New instruments and consolidated amendments are added within 3 working days.

Miscellaneous statutory instruments See Notification.

Notification means the official notice of the making of statutory instruments (proclamations, regulations and planning instruments etc) on this legislation website.

The scope of instruments notified on the legislation website and available from the As Made database will progressively be extended to instruments of a legislative nature (whether orders, directions, guidelines, standards or other instruments) that are not statutory rules (which are regulations, by-laws or rules made by the Governor in Council) or environmental planning instruments (ie State environmental planning policies, local environmental plans or standard instrument orders). These are commonly referred to as "miscellaneous statutory instruments".

NSW legislation website means the website with the URL established under Part 6A of the Interpretation Act 1987 as the official NSW government site for the online publication of legislation.

Parent Act is the Act under which a Regulation or other instrument is made. The Parent Act option on the document menu for regulations and other instruments in the In Force collection is a link to the parent Act for that instrument.


PDF stands for Portable Document Format. This is an international standard format that maintains precisely the same appearance as the printed page and provides a high level of document integrity. This format is used for the static versions of As Made legislation, the Gazette and Bills and as an option on all In Force legislation and other pages. See Generating PDFs. Click here to get your Acrobat Reader.

Regulations is often used in NSW as a general term for statutory instruments.

Regulations link in the document menu for an Act in the In Force collection links to a list of regulations and other statutory instruments made under the Act. The Regulations link does not list the EPIs that are made under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 because they comprise the entire EPI collection.

Regulations as Made means Regulations, Rules, By-laws, Proclamations, etc as published on this website or in the Gazette. On this site they are maintained in PDF as a static collection of Regulations and other instruments starting from 1990 and are added to progressively as new instruments are made.

Responsible (or Portfolio) Minister means the Minister administering a particular Act. This information is available on the Status information page for current Acts in the In Force collection that have been allocated to a Minister. See also Allocation of the Administration of Acts.

SGML stands for Standard Generalized Markup Language (ISO 8879:1985), the international standard for defining descriptions of the structure of different types of electronic document. SGML is very large, powerful, and complex. It has been in heavy industrial and commercial use for over a decade, and there is a significant body of expertise and software to go with it. XML is a subset of SGML.

Source data is legislative source data that is available for purchase from the PCO. The data consists of the In Force legislation database only and is updated on a weekly basis. The only format supplied is XML and a DTD (document type definition) is available on request. For further details please contact

Status information for an item of legislation in the In Force collection may include:

  • information about the currency of the legislation,
  • information about whether or not all of the provisions of the legislation being displayed have commenced,
  • information on Bills, uncommenced legislation, repeals, resolutions and other matters that may affect the future operation of the legislation,
  • warnings if the legislation has been declared invalid (in whole or in part), is affected by retroactive amendments or contains suspended provisions,
  • information about whether the legislation has been repealed and the date on which it was repealed,
  • information about the expiry date for the legislation,
  • the name history of the legislation where its name has changed over time,
  • information concerning an instrument that was originally made under one Act and that is currently taken to be made under another Act,
  • information about whether the legislation is due to be automatically repealed under the Subordinate Legislation Act 1989 and the current repeal date for that legislation,
  • an authorisation statement.
The status information for legislation can be obtained by pressing the "Status information" link in the contents view for an item of legislation.

Statutory instruments is a general term used to describe the range of instruments made under an Act. In NSW these instruments include:

  • regulations
  • by-laws
  • environmental planning instruments
  • orders
  • proclamations
  • rules, including rules of court
  • determinations
  • notices.

Tables refers to a selection of generated legislation tables containing information about the status of Acts, statutory instruments, environmental planning instruments, and associated matters. The tables are generated from the In Force, As Made and Bills collections and are printable and downloadable in HTML and PDF. An archive of superseded and miscellaneous Tables is also available.

Whole title is a feature that enables you to view and print a whole Act or other instrument and is accessed from the "Whole title" button in the document menu for an item of legislation currently being viewed.


XML stands for Extensible Markup Language. See also SGML.