​Australian Law

How are laws made in Australia? 

A proposal for a new law or a change to an existing law is called a ‘bill’. Most bills are introduced by government ministers, but other members of parliament can introduce their own bills — these are called private members or private senators’ bills. 

A bill becomes a law if it is passed by a majority vote in the House of Representatives and the Senate and given Royal Assent by the Governor‑General. It is then known as an Act of Parliament. 

My client wants to lobby for a change of law. How can they do that?

  • Contact your local, state or federal member of parliament and tell them what change you want:
    • The Australian Electoral Commission can tell you who your federal representative is and how you can contact them. Call 13 23 26.
    • You can find out who your state MP is on NSW Electoral Commission website. 
    • Call your local council to find out who your local representative is. 
  • Join a political party. If you are an active member of a political party you can help choose a candidate and develop policy. A candidate is someone who wants to be elected to parliament. 
  • Join or start a lobby group. A lobby group is a group of people who share the same ideas about an issue. They work together to try to change public opinion or a law. 
  • Speak to the media about the law you want to change. The media can bring attention to issues in the community. This can lead to a change in the law. 
  • Send a submission to a Parliamentary Committee. A parliamentary inquiry may be advertised in a newspaper. 
  • Become an active member of your local council. Attend meetings that are open to the public. 
  • Attend or organise a public meeting or protest. Let the police know if you are organising a protest.
Site content is current as at November 2018

​For more information

Parliamentary Education Office

State Library Legal Information AccessService     Videos on
how laws are made

State Library Legal Information Access Service

Guide for community workers

Download the PDF version of the Community Workers Guide [PDF 871kb]

Where can I get legal help?

LawAccess NSW is a free government telephone service that provides legal information, referrals and sometimes advice for people who have a legal problem in NSW.

It is the best place to start when you are looking for a legal service to help your client. They can refer people to their closest legal service, including their closest Legal Aid NSW office and Community Legal Centre.

Phone LawAccess 
1300 888 529