Parliament House, Perth


Parliament House, Perth

Parliament House, Perth is located on Harvest Terrace in Perth, Western Australia. An important building of the Government of Western Australia, it is the home of the Parliament of Western Australia, including the Western Australian Legislative Council and Western Australian Legislative Assembly.

Initially, the Legislative Council was housed in the small 1830s Government Offices in St Georges Terrace, and the Legislative Assembly in Howick Street near the Town Hall.cite book |title=Building a State: the Story of the Public Works Department of Western Australia 1829-1985 |last=Le Page |first=J.S.H. |pages=245-248 |year=1986 |publisher=Water Authority of Western Australia |location=Leederville, WA |isbn=0-7244-6862-5 ] An 1897 Royal Commission called for proposals to house the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly in the same building, and suggested two possible locations: the site of the existing Legislative Council in St Georges Terrace, and the hill in Harvest Terrace, behind the Barracks. After designs were completed for both sites, the Royal Commission recommended the St Georges Terrace site. J.W. Hackett and George Leake were in firm favour of the other site, and Parliament overruled the Commission and chose the Harvest Terrace site.

An Australia-wide competition was held for the design of Parliament House, adjudicated by the Government Architect of New South Wales. He did not recommend any of the entries, but gave awards of merit. One of the awards went to four officers of the Public Works Department. The decision was then referred to the Parliamentary Committee, which awarded the design to the Public Works Department.

Construction of the first stage of Parliament House commenced in 1902. The walls were constructed of local brick with tile facing from Rottnest Island and Donnybrook, with jarrah woodwork and locally-made clay tiles. A large general room for members and a library were added to the initial design during construction, which was completed in 1904. The building opened on 28 July 1904, and "The West Australian" commented:

When the assembly members trooped into the Council Chamber to hear the Commission read, the visitors had time to criticise the extraordinary colour scheme of the Assembly Chamber, count the hundreds of black swans swimming in the blue sea of carpet, comment on the dizzying height of the galleries, and draw comparisons -- born of the wearying display of stained glass and coloured wood -- between the general appearance of the Chamber and that of a glorified saloon...

The Eastern (city) wing was constructed between 1958 and 1964. The building was extended to the south in 1978. In the 1980s numerous bold proposals were offered to extend the landscape eastwards by covering the Mitchell Freeway and reconnecting the Parliament House precinct with St Georges Terrace.

In 1997, protesting union workers constructed Solidarity Park on vacant land opposite Parliament House.

References

External links

* [http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/ Parliament of Western Australia]


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