Welcome to the NSW Parliamentary Counsel’s Office (PCO). As NSW Parliamentary Counsel, I am proud to lead an office dedicated to producing high-quality legislation for New South Wales and making that legislation accessible to the public. This site aims to provide you with information about who we are and what we do. You’ll meet some of our highly skilled team and learn more about how we go about writing legislation (also called drafting). I hope that your visit with us is both enjoyable and informative.

—Annette O’Callaghan, NSW Parliamentary Counsel

What we do

We are responsible for drafting and providing access to most of the legislation for New South Wales. We draft all Bills for Acts required for introduction into Parliament. We also draft a wide range of statutory instruments, including regulations, rules, proclamations, orders and environmental planning instruments (EPIs). We also manage the NSW legislation website , which provides public access to legislation.

Please note that our role does not include—

  • drafting legislation for members of the community,
  • providing legal advice (whether about or not about legislation) to members of the public,
  • assistance with research projects.

If you are a member of the community, you should contact your local member of Parliament or the relevant Minister or Government Department to suggest changes to legislation.

If you are seeking legal advice or research assistance, see our FAQ page for a list of relevant contacts.

Drafting services

We provide a range of legislative drafting services, including—

  • drafting new legislation (including Acts, regulations and environmental planning instruments),
  • drafting amendments to Bills during the Parliamentary process,
  • drafting explanatory notes for new laws,
  • providing assistance to the Government concerning new legislation and legislative policy,
  • providing a legislative drafting service for non-Government Members of Parliament (under arrangements approved by the Government).

Learn more about instructing

Access and information services

We manage the editorial and access services for the legislative process, including by providing—

  • a complete legislation publishing service to Parliament (including preparing Bills for introduction into and passage through Parliament and for presentation to the Governor),
  • online access to legislation on the NSW legislation website the official NSW Government site for the publication of legislation,
  • the official online notification of Government Gazettes and the making of new statutory instruments,
  • source data for legislation to be published on the web.

Learn more about accessing legislation

Commitment to service

  • All draft priority legislation required by the Government will be provided strictly in accordance with its legislative program.
  • All requests for drafting services, advice or information will be met directly, either through the resources of the PCO or by referring the customer to a more appropriate organisation.
  • A PCO contact name will be provided in all correspondence and telephone inquiries.
  • The nature and scope of special projects will be established by first agreeing to clear terms of reference, standards of service and timeframes.
  • Services and information will be accurate, well researched and up-to-date.
  • All drafting assignments are subject to stringent review and will conform to our policy of quality drafting and plain language.
  • Our Code of Conduct (PDF 846KB) stresses the importance of confidentiality and professionalism, and all sensitive material is managed with proper consideration of the impact on individuals and other agencies.
  • We will continue to ensure that our staff are trained to provide professional and competent service.
  • Service standards will be monitored regularly using customer focus groups, client feedback and other research tools.