The principal colour of the Legislative Assembly is green. This is the distinguishing colour of the Lower Houses in Westminster Parliaments and the colour of the House of Commons in England.

Measuring an impressive 24.5 x 11m high, the Chamber houses 93 Members of Parliament during a sitting day, with the Government sitting to the Speaker’s right and the Opposition to the left. Member seating is organised in a U-shape and the presiding officer sits on a raised dais.

The Speaker’s dais is framed by Corinthian columns which support the Media and Hansard Galleries. The Queensland Coat of Arms hangs above the Speaker’s dais – an addition during the 1980s renovations.

Members formerly sat on leather covered benches without desks, similar to that in the Council Chamber. Today, the original décor is reflected through more modern furniture including green leather theatre seats, desks and microphones for each Member. The installation of air-conditioning and communication equipment has been discreetly installed to preserve the ambience of the original Chamber.

The heavy brass rail at the rear of the Chamber, and two wooden rails either side of the Speaker’s chair are referred to as the Bars. When the House is sitting, only Members and select staff (such as Clerks at the Table and parliamentary attendants) can go beyond the Bars. When a division is called and the bells cease ringing, the Bars are closed and no Member can enter or leave until they are reopened.

POINTS OF INTEREST:

Close up of Mace

MACE

When Parliament is sitting, the Mace is placed in two raised brackets on the centre table, with the head pointing towards the Government side of the Chamber.

Designed in Britain in 1978 by Birmingham goldsmiths and silversmiths, the Mace weighs 7.7kgs and is made of sterling silver with heavy gold plating and 32 Queensland gemstones including opals, garnets, amethysts and sapphires.

The Sergeant-at-Arms carries the Mace into the Chamber before the Speaker at the commencement of a sitting, and carries it out before the Speaker at the adjournment. 

Speakers chair

SPEAKER’S CHAIR & DESK

The Speaker’s Chair and Desk are an ornate yellowwood, made by John Petrie’s firm. These pieces, along with the carved dais armchairs for Deputy Speakers and cameo back chairs for Clerks at the Table, are among the few original furnishings in the Assembly Chamber. 


Hansard

PUBLIC GALLERIES

Located on either side of the O'Donovan Library on the second floor, are the public galleries for both chambers. The public gallery of each House is where Members of the public may sit to watch the activities of the Parliament. Although the galleries were originally identical, changes over the years to accommodate technology and changed work practices have resulted in some minor differences.

The gallery also accommodates the press, Hansard and official guests. Areas are reserved for each of these purposes in the Legislative Assembly gallery. Hansard reporters, who transcribe the reports of debate in the House, are located directly above the Speaker's chair. The Media Gallery is located above and to the Speaker's right. Journalists reporting on the daily business of the House are entitled to sit in this area.

The Speaker's Gallery, to the left of the Speaker, is where special guests of the Speaker such as dignitaries and visiting parliamentarians, may sit to view parliamentary proceedings.