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.
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