Government writing style

Government documents have traditionally been written in a formal style to communicate the authority of the government. But a formal style and language can be difficult for people with lower levels of English-language reading skills to understand. It therefore may reduce the effectiveness of communication with the public.

Government writing is moving towards a less formal and more personal style. It should be:

  • respectful
  • clear and direct
  • objective and impartial.

Initiatives in plain language have developed in the past 30 years in English-speaking governments around the world, most notably in the United States Plain Writing Act 2010. Although Australia does not have similar national legislation, more than 40 individual laws require plain language across all states and territories.

Plain language in government writing includes:

Traditional impersonal style:
Additional information regarding the program and operational guidelines is available from LHN practitioners.

More engaging style:
See your local GP for further information about how you can be involved in the program.

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