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Contents

Types of search

There are multiple search functions on the website:

  • Global search - this is a text search for words actually used in legislation and has 3 input types of Basic query, Boolean query and Expert query.
  • Search this item - this is a text search for a single legislation item and is by default narrowed to the current version of the item but can be adjusted to search across all versions of the item or a selection of versions.
  • HTML viewer search - this is a text search for words used in the opened document.
  • Title search - this search is available from the ‘Browse legislation titles’ page and searches for a single word in the title of legislation with word stemming applied by default.
  • Simple search

    The simple search looks for the exact text entered into the keyword parameter. Double quotes are not necessary to achieve an exact match. By default the search is limited to current Acts only. Use the advanced search to broaden the parameters.

    Advanced search

    The advanced search provides parameters to broaden the legislation categories to include, for example, subordinate laws, explanatory statements, bills as well as options to broaden the range of legislation versions to include repealed, as notified and all. Filters can be applied to narrow the results to legislation administered by a particular Minister or Directorate. There are 3 input types of Basic query, Boolean query and Expert query.

  • Basic query - this is an exact match text or phrase search.
  • Boolean query - this search can be used to combine multiple queries using the Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT. Keywords or phrases can be searched by MATCH EXACT PHRASE, CONTAINS ALL THE WORDS or CONTAINS ANY OF THE WORDS. Combine as many queries as required by using the rows provided to enter the search terms. If more rows are required, these can be added using the add new row button. Clicking on the clear button will reset the form to the default values and default single row. Word stemming can be applied by checking that option. It will apply stemming to all the keywords.
  • Expert query - this search enables use of the Perceptive Search query syntax to construct more complicated queries than can be achieved with the Boolean query option. For example, proximity searching to find a word or phrase within a certain number of words of another word or phrase (applicant w/10 register). See the Perceptive Enterprise Search website for more information on command based queries.
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    Other information

    Actual words used

    Searching looks for words actually used in the legislation, rather than searching by subject. For example, searching for divorce and dissolution marriage will return two different sets of results, although the subject may be the same.

    Basic keywords

    If you enter words separated by spaces, the search will find documents that contain the exact match of the words ie, phrase. For example, searching for tree protection finds documents that contain the exact phrase tree protection. The Boolean query option should be used to find documents that contain both tree AND protection.

    Not case sensitive

    Searching is not case-sensitive, so the results will be the same whether you use capital or lower-case letters.

    Stemming

    Word stemming can be turned on when using the Boolean query or Expert query options, meaning that variants of a word are included in the search, for example a search for govern will also find governs, governed, and governing. The title search in the ‘Browse legislation titles’ page has word stemming applied by default.

    Boolean searching

    Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT can be used to construct multiple queries in the Boolean query option. Those operators, and others in the Perceptive Enterprise Search Boolean operators list, can be used in the Expert query option to find the existence of terms within a document in relation to other terms.

  • AND - the documents retrieved must contain both the words/phrases you have typed as keywords. The terms can appear anywhere in the document.
  • OR - the documents retrieved must contain at least one of the entered words or phrases. Both terms may be present.
  • NOT - the retrieved documents must contain the first term and must not contain the second, no matter where else it appears in the document.

  • Proximity searching

    These operators find a word or phrase within a certain number of words of another word or phrase. For example, searching for peach w/10 cobbler finds documents that contain the word peach within 10 words of cobbler. For more information, see the Perceptive Enterprise Search Positional operators list.

    Parentheses

    Parentheses (brackets) are ignored in the Basic query and Boolean query options. This is because in the Expert query option parentheses are part of the Perceptive Search queue syntax which is used for grouping search criteria. For more information, see the Perceptive Enterprise Search Precedence of operators and use of parentheses.

    Wildcard symbols

    The wildcard symbol ? enables a single letter to be replaced, and the wildcard symbol * enables multiple letters to be replaced. For example, searching for appl? finds apply or apple, while appl* finds application as well. Avoid starting your search with a wildcard symbol. For more information, see the Perceptive Enterprise Search Special symbols.

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    Territory Plan

    The Territory Plan is not searchable through the standard or advanced search. To search the Territory Plan you must search each document separately.

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