Commonly known as the Red Chamber, it is a grand room featuring striking red carpet, ornate coffered ceilings and two Waterford crystal chandeliers. It is now used for ceremonial and formal occasions, such as the opening of a new parliament, Estimates committee hearings, private seminars and even the occasional opera performance. Remnants of its official use, including the presidents chair and desk and the British Royal Coat of Arms still remain today.

You can read more about the abolition of the Upper House here.


Presidents Chair


The President’s Chair, situated at the head of the Chamber, is reserved for the Sovereign or the Sovereign’s representative in Queensland, the Governor. Carved from red cedar and cushioned in red velvet, the chair’s status is symbolized through a carved royal crown on the top rail and lions-paw feet.

It is believed the chair was built by local colonial cabinet-maker, James Bryden, and was used at the very first sitting of Parliament in 1860.

Coat of Arms


The British Royal Coat of Arms above the chair signifies the connection of royalty with Westminster Upper Houses. It contains the mottos: “Dieu et Mon Droit” (which translated from French means ‘God and My Right’) and “Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense” (which translated from Old French or the Anglo-Norman language means ‘Shame be to him who thinks evil of it’).



During restorations conducted in the 1980s, two chandeliers and matching wall sconces were purchased from the Waterford Crystal company in Ireland for $70,000.

The annual maintenance of the chandeliers can take up to two weeks and involves the cleaning and checking of every piece of crystal by hand.


The Black rod is a symbol of Queensland Parliament’s traditional Usher of the Black Rod. It was used to maintain order in the Legislative Council, until it was abolished in 1922.

Historically, the Usher of the Black Rod was an officer from a British order of knights and was appointed to serve the monarch in the British House of Lords. In Westminster traditions, the position was a personal appointment of the Crown, and served as a messenger and escort for the Monarch when visiting Parliament, including knocking on the door of the Legislative Assembly to summon representatives.

Measuring 1.37 metres in length, the Black Rod is topped with a golden crown and the United Kingdom Royal Coat of Arms.

Having no formal use, the preserved Black Rod is now displayed in a glass case in the corridor outside the Council Chamber. You can see the Black Rod and the Mace during public tours.