House of Parliament - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT
The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia
House of Parliament - FURTHER INFORMATION
House of Parliament - Canberra visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'House of Parliament' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Australian Capital Territory.
Canberra is home to about 325,000 people and is located in the Australian Capital Territory, which is surrounded by New South Wales. The city is 150 kilometres inland and 571 metres above the Pacific Ocean, 281 kilometres from Sydney and 660 kilometres from Melbourne.
For 21,000 years the Canberra region has been home to the Ngunnawal people. Evidence of their long occupation exists in archeological evidence found at Birrigai Rock Shelter at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, in rock paintings in Namadgi National Park and in other places throughout the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Aborigines continued to live in the area, often working on sheep properties, their numbers diminished by illness and starvation, their culture and language in decline.
The city Canberra has a fairly short history. On 1st January 1901 the Commonwealth of Australia was declared. Section 125 of the new Australian constitution states that the seat of government will 'be in the State of New South Wales, and be distant not less than one hundred miles from Sydney'.
It took 7 years though to come to an agreement where the new capital will be built. A total of 11 sites were recommended by members, senators, a royal commission, and surveyors.
The Seat of Government Act 1904 confirmed Dalgety as the site of the future capital but the NSW government did not support the decision and refused to cede the land to the Commonwealth.
In 1908 the House of Representatives selects Yass-Canberra as the site over Dalgety. Six nominations are voted upon by the Senate (Armidale, Dalgety, Dalgety-Tooma, Lyndhurst, Tumut and Yass-Canberra). Only after Victorian Liberal, James Hiers McColl switched his vote, the deadlock between Tumut and Yass-Canberra was broken.
On 14 December 1908 the Seat of Government 1908 receives Royal Assent which repeals the 1904 Act.
On 1 January 1911 the Federal Capital Territory comes into being with NSW ceding 2,360 square kilometres of land including the seaport of Jervis Bay.
On 30 April 1911 the federal Capital City design competition is launched and on 23 May 1912 Walter Burley Griffin was announced the winner. The first peg in the construction was driven by King O'Mally on 20 February 1913. On 12 March 1913 Governor-General Lord Denman, Prime Minister Andrew Fisher, Minister for Home Affairs King O'Malley and Attorney-General William Hughes lay the foundation stones of Canberra at a ceremony on Capital Hill. Lady Denman announces the name of the new capital, 'Canberra'.
In 1938 the Federal Capital Territory was renamed to Australian Capital Territory. In 1989 the ACT became a self governing territory.
Today Canberra has become a hub for western New South Wales, as well as a major tourist destination for Australians and international visitors. People visit the national capital because it is the seat of federal government, and also because it boasts many major Australian cultural organisations and important cultural landmarks like the Australian War Memorial, the National Gallery of Australia, the High Court, Parliament House, Old Parliament House, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, and the National Library of 102,Australia.
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