The following fields can be used to search the Questions and Answers database:
||Keywords contained within the text of a Question on Notice
|Asked by Senator
||Select a Senator from the drop down list
|Asked of Ministry
||Select a Ministry from the drop down list
|Notice given date
||Select either a particular date, or fill-in both fields to limit search to a date range
||Use this if the exact question number is known
||Select either: all questions; answered questions only; unanswered questions only; or questions unanswered for greater than 30 days
How to search
Any combination of the fields listed above can be used to conduct a search for Questions on Notice.
Once you have entered a search parameter, click on the ‘Search’ button or hit the Enter key to execute the search. A list of Questions on Notice that meet your search criteria will be provided in a list.
What your search results will say
The results page lists 10 results per page by default. This can be increased to a maximum of 50 results per page. Each search can provide a maximum of 300 results.
Search results may be improved by narrowing the search using more detailed search criteria. To refine your existing search, scroll to the bottom of the results page where the search form has been preserved.
Results can also be ordered by clicking on the headings at the top of the results list. For example, by clicking on the heading ‘Question no.’, results will be ordered in either increasing or decreasing numerical order; by clicking the heading ‘Senator’, results will be ordered alphabetically by the senator who asked the question.
The navigation arrows at the bottom of the page can be used in 3 ways:
- to scroll through the pages,
- to go directly to a page, or
- to go directly to the first/last page.
To begin a new search, the ‘Reset’ button clears the search criteria fields.
Viewing a Question
There are a number of ways to view a Question on Notice that appears in your search results:
- Preview – Clicking on the arrow to the left of the question number brings up a ‘preview’, of the question. The current search parameters and results are retained within the page.
- Full result – Clicking on the question number opens a new page where the question is displayed in HTML. If the question has been answered, the page will also provide a PDF of that answer.
Downloading and saving files
Multiple questions and answers can be downloaded at once by selecting the check boxes to the right of each question number in the results page, and then clicking the ‘Download Selected’ button below the search results table. The selected files will be downloaded to the user’s computer as a zip file of PDF documents. Where answers to questions are available, the questions and answers will be downloaded together.
Questions and their answers can also be saved as PDF files directly from each question number’s unique page.
Printing results with the ‘Print List’
To produce a printable list of search results, click the ‘Print List’ button after you have carried out your search. A printer-friendly page will open containing the current list of results. The Print List columns can be ordered by clicking on a heading. The Print List function is useful for producing a customised report, for example, all unanswered questions asked of a particular Ministry or by a particular Senator.
Your existing search can be refined by scrolling to the bottom of the results page where the search form has been preserved. Wherever possible, it is recommended that you use buttons provided within the web pages, rather than the 'Back' and 'Forward' buttons available within your browser.
Feedback and assistance
Released in February 2013, this represents the first iteration of the Senate Questions and Answers database. Improvements will be made to the database over the coming months, and to assist in this process we welcome all feedback via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.