Establishing the colony of Queensland

Queen Victoria granted approval and signed the Letters Patent on 6 June 1859 to establish the new colony of Queensland. On the same day, an Order-in-Council gave Queensland its own constitution.

Queensland became a self-governing colony with its own Governor, a nominated Legislative Council and an elected Legislative Assembly. The Queensland Parliament first met on 22 May 1860 in a converted former military and convict barracks building which was located in Brisbane’s Queen Street.

A home for Parliament

The Government soon decided to erect a new and more dignified building to house the Parliament, and in 1863 a site for the new parliament was chosen in George Street, near the then Government House. A competition for the design of a dedicated parliamentary building was held and colonial architect Charles Tiffin was awarded the commission with his unusual imitation of a French Renaissance style building.

The foundation stone was laid on 14 July 1865 by Governor George Bowen and the Parliament met for the first time in the new Parliament House on 4 August 1868