Sunday History Photo / ACT

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 20, 2016 at 07:43
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Federal Parliament meetings were first held in Melbourne until 1927. Between 1927 and 1988, the Parliament of Australia met in the Provisional Parliament House, which is now known as "Old Parliament House". Construction of Australia's permanent Parliament House was delayed while its location was debated. Construction of the new building began in 1981
In 1901, when the six British colonies in Australia federated to form the Commonwealth of Australia, Melbourne and Sydney were the two largest cities in the country, but the long history of rivalry between them meant that neither could become the national capital.




In 1909, after much argument, the Parliament decided that the new capital would be in the southern part of New South Wales, on the site which is now Canberra. The Commonwealth acquired control over the land in 1911, but World War I intervened, and nothing was done for some years to build the city. Federal Parliament did not leave Melbourne until 1927.
In the meantime the Australian Parliament met in the 19th century edifice of Parliament House, Melbourne, while the Victorian State Parliament met in the nearby Royal Exhibition Building for 26 years.



After World War I the Federal Capital Advisory Committee was established to prepare Canberra to be the seat of government, including the construction of a Parliament House. The committee decided that it would be best to erect a "provisional" building, to serve for a predicted 50 years until a new, "permanent" House could be built. In the event, Old Parliament House was Parliament's home for 61 years. In the last decade of its use as a parliament the building had a chronic shortage of available space.

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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Mar 20, 2016 at 14:11

Sunday, Mar 20, 2016 at 14:11
Thanks, Doug, for another interesting read. Never knew that the Federal Parliament was held in Melbourne prior to the construction of Canberra.

I have one of those 1927 Parliament House florins! I found it under a new (well, it was actually about 60 years old!) house we moved into, in 1962, when I was 13.

The house was all timber with weatherborad cladding and it was built on a sloping block, on stumps, that enabled one to crawl under the front portion of the house.
Like all exploratory teenagers, I was crawling under the house one day, when I spotted the florin!

I was hoping it was worth the same as a 1930 penny! - but unfortunately, the Mint knocked out 1,420,000 of them - and they'll never be worth a fortune!

Cheers, Ron.
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