Western Australians can now quickly and easily check up-to-date information on State laws thanks to a computer network launched today by Services Minister Jim McGinty and Attorney General Joe Berinson.
Known as Law-Net Western Australia, the system connects subscribers' personal computers by telephone to the Crown Law Department's State law database.
"Law-Net Western Australia allows users to call up all the Acts of the State, or search for key words or phrases and then print out the information they have found," Mr McGinty said.
"The initiative is a major advance in the use of computer technology and expertise within government to assist in providing information to the community.
"Today's launch further underlines the Lawrence Government's commitment to ensure government and its information is more accessible."
Mr Berinson said Law-Net would be a great asset to lawyers and other professional people who regularly had to check laws.
"The simplicity of the system will enable practitioners, even with limited computer knowledge, to perform effective research tasks," Mr Berinson said.
"The legal profession now has the opportunity to use personal and mainframe computers as a major research tool, resulting in time and resource savings when carrying out routine and complex research tasks. Consequent cost savings could also benefit clients."
Mr Berinson stressed the service was not limited to the legal profession. Other professionals and individuals would also have access either by subscription or through a library which subscribed to the database.
Law-Net can be accessed by any subscriber with an IBM compatible personal computer and modem. Being connected to the Crown Law database means Law-Net is updated whenever laws are amended.
The system is operated by the State Services Department and subscribers pay an annual fee of $150 and user charges.
Work is already underway to extend the service to Government Gazettes, Hansard, and Industrial Gazettes and Awards.