Government Datasets or APIs

Commonwealth Legislation API

It would be great if Australian legislation were available in a machine-readable format.


There are many projects available for scraping and parsing what's out there in HTML and PDF format, but it is insufficient for a modern, vibrant, digital democracy.


I propose an API that would provide access to Bills and Acts in a machine readable format such as XML, such that we could do things such as:


* Compare different versions of Acts side by side in a diff-like manner

* Transpose proposed Bills on top of the relevant Acts in a manner similar to diff to see the result prior to debate and acceptance

* Allow for timely dissemination of legislation in a manner befitting the web, such as being able to link to specific sections or paragraphs

* A git repository could be created that allows anyone to fork and modify legislation and make actual tangible proposals to fix legislation


These are just a few of the benefits that could be provided by an API for Commonwealth legislation. I'm sure others can think of even better things they could do with it.




Idea No. 60