Old Parliament House, Brisbane
In June 1859, Queensland became a separate colony from NSW and the first Governor arrived just a few weeks ago. But with a population of just 6000, the state had not prioritised the building of a Parliament or a government house.
By 1862, it was complete and the new public Botanic Gardens, virtually on the doorstep, merged with the gardens of Government House to provide a green oasis in the petty wild new city of Brisbane. It was the first building to be wholly designed and built in the new colony of Queensland.
It remained the official residence of the Governor until 1910 when a larger and more appropriate residence was identified - even though Government House had been constantly extended since it had been completed.
On moving out, the now Old Government House became the first building on the campus of University of Queensland and, today, the building is surrounded by a number of UQ centres.
Yes, the big boy and big girl playhouse.
Since I was almost thrown into jail, for the heinous crime of taking photos of children, I decided to check out the place where these folks work, just to see if I can detect signs of radiation or chemical contamination that may have resulted in a drop of intelligence.
I was the only visitor for the last session of the day. Good. Why should other innocents suffer? I shall venture in alone.
My guide was very courteous. Hmm...that seem to have debunked my theories a bit. Built in 1868 you say? But there are no signs of mould, and thus I can rule out infections of some kind. Copper roof you say? But the politicians stay and work from the modern wing. Can't be copper poisoning, if there is such a thing.
Maybe the seats of the Lower House (there is no Upper House in Queensland) are uncomfortable, making the legislators cranky? Nope. I sat on them and they are perfectly fine.
Something is radiating in the light. Damn, they were just stain glass windows...one of Queen Victoria. No signs of a nuclear leak anywhere.
I sniff very hard. Maybe there is a chemical leak. But the libraries smell fresh, rich with the aroma of power. No nitrous oxide. No methane. No nothing.
By the time, I stepped back into sunshine some 45 minutes later, richer for the knowledge I again about the parliamentary proceedings in Queensland, I'm still flummoxed.
Maybe politicians are just plain weird!
The building was started in 1865, first occupied in 1868, and finally completed in 1889. It is characterised by solid colonnades which keep the building cool in summer, some truly magnificent timber work which was executed in local Queensland timbers, and an impressive and gracious interior.
As up till today the Parliament of Queensland still has its seat in the Parliament House.
Immediately after Queensland was declared a separate colony in 1859, Brisbane saw the large and gracious Parliament House building rising on the hill above the Botanical Gardens.
The colonial architect, Charles Tiffin, was awarded the commission to build Parliament House after he had won an Australia wide competition with his unusual imitation of the French Renaissance style.
Parliament House is the home of all power in Brisbane and the State of Queensland. These hallowed halls have seen many a politicial ambush.
Queensland Parliament is unique in Australia as it is the only state without an upper house / Senate. All other states and federal government operate with a second level of government which are elected on a different basis to the regular small 1 member electorates. Hence legislation in Queensland is changed more often and we've had more scandals than other states.
Even with scandals we're proudly protective of the system. Go figure.
Tours run daily. If you're lucky you can visit when parliament is sitting an sit in the visitors area watching proceedings
If you're that way inclined, you can actually visit Queensland's first public building, which was built in 1868. They do have guided visits if you're interested from Monday to Friday during office hours (9am to 5pm). These tours are apparently free.
If you have free time, a great place to see is the Parliament of Queensland. You get to tour the place when there are no sessions and the best thing is it's free.
Home of Brisbane's early Governors - built around 1862. Tours cost $ 4.00 for Adults and $ 2.00 for Children. Unguided tours are free. Still holds original furnishings.