Parliament house

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Now home to the Victorian State Government, it was previously the seat of the Federal Australian government as well.

The development of Parliament house only happened after the Colony of Victoria got self-government in 1851. Prior to this, Governor Charles La Trobe asked the Surveyor General Robert Hoddle to select a site for the colony’s new parliament to meet. Hoddle selected a site on the eastern hill at the top of Bourke Street, which commanded a view over the entire city.

Parliament house was built in stages over a number of years. The Chambers of the legislative assembly and the legislative counsel were completed by 1860, but the west front and stairs were not finished until 1891. Later changes were tea rooms in the 1920s.


From 1901 to 1927 Parliament House in Melbourne was the first home of the Australia’s Federal Government, since the new capital city envisaged in the Australian Constitution did not yet exist and there were long delays in finding a site and commencing construction. During these years the Victorian Parliament met in the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton.


Victorian Parliament began to move to the chambers in 1928, when federal parliament began to meet at Canberra in the ACT.

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