Free Interpreting Service for parliamentarians


The Free Interpreting Service aims to provide equitable access to key services for people with limited or no English language proficiency.

Parliamentarians and their staff can access the Free Interpreting Service to communicate with constituents.

Why parliamentarians use interpreters

Australia has a rich cultural diversity. The 2016 census revealed that Australians were born in almost 200 different countries and speak more than 300 languages.

As elected representatives, parliamentarians have a duty to communicate with their constituents, especially to advocate on their behalf. Parliamentarians can use credentialed interpreters to communicate complex or technical information to communities or individuals who have limited or no English language proficiency.

Using the Free Interpreting Service is easy and convenient. It is quick and simple to register and you will be connected to a phone interpreter within a few minutes.

Services available to parliamentarians

Parliamentarians can use the Free Interpreting Service to access interpreting services delivered by TIS National, including:

  • immediate phone interpreting
  • pre-booked phone interpreting
  • pre-booked onsite interpreting.

Immediate phone interpreting is most useful for unplanned interactions. It provides:

  • access to more than 2700 interpreters in more than 150 languages.
  • interpreting services 24 hours a day 7 days a week
  • connection to an interpreter within a few minutes of calling.

Pre-booked phone interpreting is useful for planned interactions, such as community events or ongoing appointments, or if you need to request a less common language.

When phone interpreting is not suitable, TIS National can arrange an interpreter to arrive onsite for a face to face appointment. This may be important when you have a group of people needing the same language interpreter, when you are discussing complex ideas or when you anticipate that the appointment will go for an extended period of time. On-site interpreter bookings must be for a minimum of 90 minutes.


All Australian parliamentarians and their staff are eligible to access the Free Interpreting Service if the parliamentarian is:

  • a current serving member of any federal, state or territory parliament. This includes Members of Parliament, Senators, Members of Legislative Assemblies and Legislative Councils.
  • using the service to communicate with anyone in Australia who has a Medicare card.

The Free Interpreting Service can be used for constituency purposes, including but not limited to:

  • community consultations and forums
  • advocating on behalf of a constituent.

The Free Interpreting Services cannot be used for:

  • campaigning, party membership drives, fundraising or other party related activities
  • communicating with people who are not eligible for Medicare, such as tourists, temporary work visa holders and international students.

Register for a client code

Each parliamentarian will need a unique client code to access the service. To register for a client code, complete the online client registration form on the TIS National website. If you require assistance with registering contact TIS National on 1300 575 847.

How to access the Free Interpreting Service

  1. Call TIS National on 131 450.
  2. Provide the operator with the language of the interpreter that you need.
  3. Provide your client code and the name of the parliamentarian.
  4. Request an interpreter of a particular gender, if required (subject to availability).

More information

Free Interpreting Service: 131 450

Download the PDF version of the Free Interpreting Service - parliamentarians information sheet
Download the DOC version of the Free Interpreting Service - parliamentarians information sheet