Queensland’s seat of government since 1869, the wing of Parliament House facing George St was designed by Colonial architect Charles Tiffin and constructed between 1865-67 in sandstone from Joshua Jeays quarry at Woogaroo. After Queensland was granted separation from NSW and won the right from Queen Victoria to govern on its own in 1859 the legislative chambers had been operating from the old Prison Barracks on Queen St and the need for a parliament headquarters was pressing so a competition was held for a design, which Charles Tiffin won on cost.
In the 1880s the wing facing Alice St was constructed under the supervision of then Colonial Architect George Connolly and although being faithful to the Louvre-inspired French Renaissance style of the original building, this one was much more local in its relief carvings, with staghorns, gumnuts and eucalypt leaves thought to be the work of designer Thomas Pye.
In the ensuing century and a half every important political decision has been thrashed out and made within its walls. And visitors are welcome to inspect their government’s headquarters on weekdays when Parliament is not in session.
Another highlight of a tour is the O'Donovan Library, still with its original shelving, ladders and furniture and home to Brisbane's oldest collection books and publications, including the very first copy of the Moreton Bay Courier (later The Courier Mail).
Opening hours Mon-Fri 9am-4.15pm with free half hour tours departing from the George St entrance, the last one being at 4.15pm. Once a month on Fridays visitors can partake in a high tea in the dining room, prepared by the parliamentary chefs.
69 Alice St