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University of Wollongong Australia

Referencing: Government Publications

Author-Date (Harvard) - Government Publications

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Format In-Text Reference Reference List

ABA Statistics

Abbreviate publisher to ABS.

Author will always be Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Place of publication for printed statistics is always Canberra.

Year of publication is the year it is released not the date in the title.

Include the Catalogue number preceded by cat. no. (the number is part of the title on ABS publications).

Direct quote

"The number of divorces has been decreasing each year after reaching a peak in 2001" (ABS 2008).


According the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2008) the median length of a marriage to separation is approximately 9 years.


Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008, Divorces Australia 2007, cat. no. 3307.0.55.001, ABS, Canberra.


Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008, Divorces Australia 2007, cat. no. 3307.0.55.001, viewed 17 January 2011, <>.

Government Department as Author/s

It is common when referencing government publications to have the same group author and publisher.

In the reference list put in entries for both the full group author name and the abbreviated name.

If a committee has prepared the report for a government department or agency use the committee name as the author, and the government department as the publisher.

"According to the International Atomic Energy Agency... unauthorised movements of nuclear material" (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2005, p. 12).

Long group author names

If the group author name is long and cited frequently abbreviate the name in the in-text citation e.g.
"International community has had success....renounce nuclear weapons" (DFAT 2010, p. 14).

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 2005, Weapons of mass destruction Australia’s role in fighting proliferation : practical responses to new challenges, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra.

DFAT – see Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Government Report (print or online)

Often the author and the publisher are the same in Government publications.

Abbreviate long group names if being referred to often.

Put both the abbreviated and full form of the group author in the reference list.

PDF documents look like the printed document and should contain all the publication details.

Often online reports are the same as print, just add the date accessed and the URL after the publication details.

Direct quote

"Between 1887 and 1954 private welfare agencies and individuals were authorised to apprehend children" (Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission 1997, p. 55).

"Eight events remain significantly associated with an increased likelihood of a mother experiencing high distress they are..." (Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 2009, p. 36).


In the Bringing them home report it highlights the strategy of permanently retaining children who were placed temporarily in respite accommodation (Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 1997, p. 55).

Stress is a key factor contributing to poorer outcomes for mother and infant (FaHCSIA 2009, p. 36)


Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission 1997, Bringing them home: report of the national inquiry into the separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Sydney.


Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs 2009, Growing Up in Australia: the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children: 2008–09 Annual Report, FaHCSIA, Canberra, viewed 12 December 2010, <>.

FaHCSIA see Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Parliamentary Debates (Hansard) print or online

Parliamentary debates are referenced using the Jurisdiction (eg. Australia or New South Wales) followed by the Chamber (eg. House of Representatives or Senate for Commonwealth, and Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council for NSW)

The title Debates is always in italics.

The volume number may not be available in the online versions.

Direct quote

The then Minister for Health, John Thwaites (Victoria, Legislative Assembly 2000, p. 2145) reveals that "The National and Victorian Drug Household Survey indicate..."

The Prime Minister, Mr Howard predicted that "in the foreseeable future nuclear power...fossil fuel" (Australia, House of Representatives 2006, p. 41).


Thwaites outlined the Government’s plan for safe injecting facilities in the Second Reading Speech... (Victoria, Legislative Assembly 2000 pp. 2144-2149).

The Prime Minister Mr Howard (Australia, House of Representatives 2006, p.40) outlined his defence for the government’s failure to sign...


Victoria, Legislative Assembly 2000, Debates, vol. 447, pp. 2144-2149.


Australia, House of Representatives 2006, Debates, viewed 12 December 2010, <;fileType%3Dapplication%2Fpdf>.

Parliamentary Paper

A reference to a Commonwealth Parliamentary paper would begin Australia, Parliament... If a Commissioner or Chairperson is mentioned their name goes after the title in round brackets.


Direct quote

In the 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission it was acknowledged that "underground cable essentially eliminates bushfire risk associated with the provision of electricity" (Victoria, Parliament 2010, p.154).


Victoria, Parliament 2010, 2009 Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission, (B. Teague, Chairperson) Parl. Paper 332, vol. 2, The Commission, Melbourne.