Hansard Reporting Service
The Queensland Parliament’s Hansard reporting service was established in 1864 following allegedly unreliable newspaper reports of parliamentary proceedings. By 1878, the Queensland Parliament was the first Parliament in the world to have a daily official report of the debates without any form of government censorship. This was 31 years ahead of the House of Commons which first published its reports of debates in 1909. Today, the Parliamentary Reporting Service publishes transcripts of debates within two hours on the Parliament of Queensland website.
The Queensland Parliament acquired its first computer in 1976. The computer, an IBM System 32 with eight megabytes of memory, was hired for nine months for use in the Parliamentary Library.
Members of the Queensland Parliament were first provided with the resources to establish electorate offices in October 1973. Funding for each electorate office at this time allowed for a secretary, a Members' desk and chair, a typist's desk and chair, four visitor's chairs, a manual typewriter, a filing cabinet, a book case or wardrobe and a telephone.
A former Member from Bulimba remembers that in the 1950s, he personally built an extra room on to his home at his expense to use as an electorate office. Otherwise, Members only had their office at Parliament House which they shared sometimes with five to six others, and relied on the typing pool to type their correspondence.
Electricity in Parliament House
Parliament House was one of the earliest buildings in Brisbane to use electricity. In 1883, the Government Printer’s steam engines supplied the electricity and by 1892 electricity was installed throughout the building. Today, the Parliamentary Service strives to reduce energy consumption through a range of strategies including the use of energy saving equipment and management controls over usage.