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Frequently Asked Questions and Templates — for Agencies

For legal interpretation and accessibility reasons, the use of graphics in legislation such as Acts, regulations and environmental planning instruments is generally limited. In addition, searches on the In Force collection on the NSW legislation website do not search over words appearing in graphics.

However, where they are clearly necessary or useful, graphics can be included in legislation subject to the constraints and specifications set out below.

Typically, graphics in NSW legislation consist of:

  1. Line art drawings
  2. Diagrams
  3. Simplified maps and plans
  4. Flowcharts
Where graphics are required, as early as possible in the drafting stage:
  1. the use of the graphics should be discussed with the drafter.
  2. graphics in the required file format should be supplied in time to allow review and revision as needed (see below for the required file format).
  3. the required file format is TIFF (Tagged Image File Format), with the following specifications:
    1. format version 5 or 6 or equivalent
    2. 300 dpi or, if the detail in the graphic requires it, 600 dpi, and
    3. 256 8-bit greyscale or colour, and
    4. if a TIFF cannot be supplied, liaise with the drafter about other options.
  4. scanned images are not of sufficient quality and will not be accepted.

Except for resizing where required to fit in standard NSW A4 legislation format, PCO does NOT create or edit the content of graphics such as maps, diagrams etc. These must be supplied by the agency. Only some flowcharts may be created and managed by PCO by prior arrangement.

PCO will create a GIF file from the TIFF for website publishing.

Graphics should have the following features:

  1. Headings, captions and other descriptive text should not form part of the graphic. This information will be included as text so that it is searchable.
  2. The graphic should have portrait orientation unless the dimensions make landscape necessary. Landscape graphics should be rotated counter-clockwise relative to portrait.
  3. Most graphics should not have borders, except some maps where the borders give the area definition in the page.
  4. Graphics must be sized to fit appropriately in the legislation to which they relate, and in any case cannot be larger than the space in the standard text margin for NSW legislation based on an A4 page (210mm × 170 mm).
  5. Graphics should be cropped to a maximum of 2mm white space.
  6. Colour should only be used where it is important for the meaning of the graphic (such as in road signs). In Bills, graphics must be greyscale for printing reasons. If colour is required for a Bill, check with the drafter at PCO about options.
  7. Maps must have a scale bar and north point. Do not use scale measures such as 1cm=1,000m as the size of the graphic will change.
  8. Photographs are not suitable for inclusion in In Force legislation.
  9. Graphics should look sharp and clear and not pixelated or blurry.

PCO may advise on and change the size, alignment in the text and similar layout aspects of the graphic to make it display effectively in legislation. PCO will not change the content of the graphic.

Agencies preparing their own instruments for publication on the NSW legislation website or in the Gazette should prepare graphics/images as follows:

  1. The graphics should be included in the text of the instrument (they should not be separately supplied for publication).
  2. Graphics must be sized to fit appropriately in the instrument and fit on a standard A4 page with margins of 20mm.
  3. Headings, captions and other descriptive text should not form part of the graphic. This information should be included as text to improve searchability.
  4. Graphics should have portrait orientation unless the dimensions make landscape necessary. Landscape graphics should be rotated counter-clockwise relative to portrait.
  5. Photographs should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. Line art drawings, diagrams, maps and plans are more suitable for legislation.
  6. Graphics should not be scanned images.
If your instrument is expected to be included in the In Force collection on the legislation website, the technical requirements under Instruments drafted by Parliamentary Counsel’s Office (PCO) should also be considered.

Your instrument needs to be notified if:

  • it is a statutory rule as defined in the Interpretation Act 1987 (that is, it is a regulation, a by-law made or approved by the Governor, or a court rule), or
  • it is a commencement proclamation for an Act, or
  • it is a local environmental plan or State environmental planning policy, or
  • the legislation under which the instrument is made requires it to be “published on the NSW legislation website”.

Once the instrument has been made or approved by the Governor-in-Council, or made by the Minister or other relevant person or body, email a request to notification@pco.nsw.gov.au for notification on the NSW legislation website and include all the information outlined below. If you are a council making a delegated LEP, see the information about delegated LEPs.

The instrument will NOT be notified unless a request is received. The instrument will not automatically be notified just because it has been approved by the Governor at a meeting of the Executive Council or otherwise signed.

A request for standard or special notification should include the following:

  • the full name of the instrument, and
  • if the instrument was drafted by PCO, PCO’s file reference, which is on the top of the Opinion relating to that instrument or on the bottom left hand side of the instrument itself, and
  • the proposed publication date, and
  • if the instrument did not go to the Executive Council, a scanned copy of the signed front page (as an attachment), and
  • if the instrument was not drafted by PCO, a complete and correct Word file of the instrument (as an attachment).

You will receive email confirmation of receipt of your request within 24 hours on weekdays. Please contact PCO if you have not received confirmation within that time.

For normal notification on a Friday:

  • the request should be sent to PCO by 5.00 pm on the Wednesday of that week
  • the instrument will then generally be notified on the Friday of the same week
  • notification on the Friday occurs as soon as PCO has relevant files ready (usually early in the day).

Urgent or delayed notification can be arranged at other times if required. Requests for special notification on other days or times should be made by telephone as soon as possible, but preferably no later than 1.00 pm on the day in question.

Telephone inquiries: 9321 3333, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday.

Email: notification@pco.nsw.gov.au

If the legislation under which the instrument is made requires it to be "published in the Gazette" then the instrument must be sent to PCO for gazettal. Other government (or council) instruments may also be gazetted in order to create a public legal record, or because similar instruments are, or have been, gazetted.

For standard notices up to 3 pages long, email the complete finalised notice to nswgazette@pco.nsw.gov.au as follows:

  • The notice should be in Word format, version 2010 or compatible with version 2010. Please do not send standard notices as PDFs.
  • Images should be included in the notice. Do not send images separately. See also the requirements for graphics.
  • Files must not be bigger than 2 MB.
  • Files must not be password protected or have editing or security restrictions.
  • For instruments drafted by PCO, the request should include:
    • the full name of the instrument,
    • PCO's file reference, which is on the bottom left hand side of the instrument. Note that PCO will use the version of the file held in its systems for gazettal. It is important that you do not edit your own version of the instrument as this will not be used for gazettal.
  • Scanned documents will not be accepted for gazettal.
  • All files must be attachments (not links).

For large or complex notices or documents 3 pages or longer, email the complete finalised noticed to nswgazette@pco.nsw.gov.au as follows:

  • The notice should be in PDF.
  • Files must not be bigger than 7 MB.
  • Files must not be password protected or have editing or security restrictions.
  • Scanned documents will not be accepted for gazettal.
  • All files must be attachments (not links).

To avoid errors and problems, before submitting a notice please check the following:

  • all necessary approvals have been given and signed (PCO will NOT verify that any necessary approvals by the Governor or other persons or bodies have been given),
  • text and other content is correct and complete,
  • the document is not a draft and does not contain track changes, comments, or other features that are not intended to be published.

The instrument will NOT be notified unless a request is received. The instrument will not automatically be notified just because it has been approved by the Governor at a meeting of the Executive Council or otherwise signed.

Notices will be published in the Gazette as follows:

  • notices are accepted for publication in the next available Gazette, unless otherwise specified,
  • notices must be received by 5.00 pm Wednesday for publication in the ordinary Gazette on the Friday of that week,
  • notices submitted after that time will be published in the ordinary Gazette a week later – ie on the Friday of the following week,
  • notices submitted with a gazettal date more than 1 month in advance will not be accepted.

You will receive email confirmation of receipt of your notice within 24 hours on weekdays. Please contact PCO if you have not received confirmation within that time.

If a notice needs to be gazetted urgently it must be accompanied by confirmation from a senior manager that the notice must be published earlier than the next ordinary Gazette. Where time permits, an initial phone call should be made to advise of the upcoming request, even if the notice for gazettal is not yet ready. In any case, the notice should be submitted (as an attachment) by email to nswgazette@pco.nsw.gov.au as soon as possible.

Telephone inquiries: 9321 3333, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday.

Email: nswgazette@pco.nsw.gov.au

See below for important information about Government notices, Council notices and Private notices.

Please note that PCO will NOT provide legal advice in relation to the drafting or content of a Gazette notice. If necessary, you should obtain legal advice in order to check that your notice complies with any legislative requirements.

See recent Gazettes for examples of the content and layout of notices.

PCO will NOT check your notice and the notice cannot be altered or withdrawn once gazetted. A notice will need an erratum or to be remade if there are errors. Errors will also affect users trying to search for or reference the notice.

Notices are important legal documents. All care should be taken by you to ensure they are correct. Before submitting a notice please check the following:

  • all necessary approvals have been given and signed,
  • text and other content is correct and complete.

PCO reserves the right to apply its in-house style to all Gazette notices if needed.

Notices for any Government Notices section of the Gazette should contain at least the following details:

  1. A main heading that is the name of the legislation under which the notice is made. This can be more than one item of legislation.
  2. A secondary heading may be added to provide more specific detail as to what the notice relates to eg "Notice of Compulsory Acquisition of Land", "Declaration of Crown Land as Public Road" etc.
  3. In the general text of the notice, the provision/s of the legislation (ie legislation listed in the main heading) that requires the notice to be published in the Gazette.
  4. If the notice takes effect on a date other than the date on which the notice is published in the NSW Government Gazette, a clear statement of this date.
  5. Where the notice contains a signature, then the name of the signatory needs to be typed in the notice and not included as a scan of the signature. This also applies to any date of signing included in the notice.

Council Notices should contain at least the following details:

  1. A main heading that is the name of the Council.
  2. A second heading that is the name of the legislation under which the notice is made (more than one piece of legislation may be listed, if relevant).
  3. A third heading can be included to provide more specific detail (eg "Dedication of Public Land").
  4. In the general text of the notice, the provision/s of the legislation (ie legislation listed in the second heading) that requires the notice to be published in the Gazette.
  5. Where the notice contains a signature, then the name of the signatory needs to be typed in the notice and not included as a scan of the signature. This also applies to any date of signing included in the notice.

Private Notices should contain at least the following details:

  1. A main heading that states the nature of the notice (for example, "Notice of Final Meeting").
  2. A second heading that is the name of the legislation under which the notice is made (more than one piece of legislation may be listed, if relevant).
  3. A third heading can be included to provide more specific detail (eg "J Smith Pty Limited ACN 505 505 505").
  4. In the general text of the notice, the provision/s of the legislation (ie legislation listed in the second heading) that requires the notice to be published in the Gazette.
  5. Where the notice contains a signature, then the name of the signatory needs to be typed in the notice and not included as a scan of the signature. This also applies to any date of signing included in the notice.

Notices that have been published in the Gazette cannot be removed or altered. However, in most cases where the gazetted instrument did not match the signed instrument, an erratum notice can be used to correct the gazetted instrument. Note that not all notices can be corrected, and that errors and erratum notices can cause legal problems.

An erratum notice is published in addition to the original notice. The original published notice will not be changed.

An erratum notice must contain at least the following:

  1. The Gazette date, Gazette number and page/notice number of the original notice. For example, “NSW Government Gazette No 211 of 13 February 2015, p 112” or “NSW Government Gazette No 83 of 27 January 2018, n2018-423”.
  2. The wording that was incorrect and the wording that should replace it.
  3. If it is important for the gazettal date to remain the original date, the words "the gazettal date remains [insert original gazettal date]" should be added to the notice.

An erratum notice should be submitted to nswgazette@pco.nsw.gov.au in the same way as a standard notice.