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PM Transcripts repository

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet provides transcripts of more than 20,000 speeches, media releases, and interviews by Australian Prime Ministers. These transcripts can be searched online, and the underlying XML files can be downloaded using a simple API.

This repository contains transcripts harvested from the PM Transcripts web site on 3 September 2016.

The XML files are all saved in the transcripts folder.

I've also created a simple index (in CSV format) that contains the metadata from each of the XML files. The fields are:

  • transcript id
  • release date
  • title
  • prime minister's name
  • type of transcript (speech, interview, media release etc)
  • subjects (not used very often)
  • url for PDF version

Also included are the scripts I used to harvest and index the files. There's some useful bits and pieces in to extract information about the number of transcripts for each Prime Minister and for each transcript type.

I've combined copies of all the transcripts for each PM and saved them to the pms folder -- one file per PM. These files contain only the texts of each transcript, ordered chronologically.

Using combine_pm() in you can generate a file for each Prime Minister and transcript type. So:

>>> import utilities
>>> utilities.combine_pm('Gillard, Julia', 'Speech')

will create the file gillard-julia-speech.txt combining the text of all speeches by Julia Gillard.

Here's the number of transcripts for each Prime Minister:

Prime Minister Number of transcripts
Howard, John 5854
Hawke, Robert 2310
Fraser, Malcolm 2072
Gillard, Julia 2037
Rudd, Kevin 1726
Keating, Paul 1572
Abbott, Tony 1360
Whitlam, Gough 1227
Menzies, Robert 1197
Gorton, John 619
Holt, Harold 497
McMahon, William 341
Unknown 68
McEwen, John 11
Chifley, Ben 10
Curtin, John 3

Thanks to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet for making these documents available under a CC-BY licence.


Source: Licensed from the Commonwealth of Australia under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence.

The Commonwealth of Australia does not necessarily endorse the content of this publication.