The Legislative Council (continued)

The Chamber


Table of the Legislative Council.

Parliament House was originally constructed as the Customs House and Architect’s Offices for the colony.

The building was built on reclaimed land between the years 1834 and 1840, and constructed in the Georgian colonial style of architecture for which Tasmania is well known.

The building was designed by the colonial architect, John Lee Archer, who also designed such buildings as St John’s Church and the Charitable Institution at New Town.

From 1841 to 1856 the Legislative Council met in the Long Room. This served as the House of Assembly Chamber from 1856 until 1940 and is presently the Members’ Lounge.

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In 1856 the Council moved into the present chamber, which is undoubtedly the most magnificent room in the building. In the Westminster tradition, the predominant colour is red. The wood panelling is made of highly polished New South Wales cedar and was constructed by a local firm of tradesmen. The walls above the panelling and the ceiling are hand stencilled and of an arresting design. The canopy above the President’s chair is of cedar; the imposing columns being of a fluted Corinthian design.


Portrait of Queen Victoria by

J. Prescott Knight R.A.

The large portrait of Queen Victoria by J. Prescott Knight R.A. is a copy in oils of Winterhalter’s famous painting. The original portrait hangs in Windsor Castle. This copy was purchased in 1855 at a cost of 250 guineas. It measures 15 feet by 8 feet and its frame is handsomely carved and gilded.

Seating Arrangements

In accordance with Westminster tradition, it is the custom for Government Representatives to be seated to the right of the President on the first bench.

The Chair of Committees (when the Council is in Committee) sits between the Clerk of the Council and the Deputy Clerk. The rows of individual seats on either side of the President on the dais are known as the President’s Reserve. Behind these seats to the President’s right is the area reserved for the Hansard staff who record the debate. The corresponding area to the President’s left is reserved for members of the media.



1. Public Gallery entry and exit
2. Attendants
3. Members’ Benches
4. Clerk of Papers
5. Main Chamber Doors
(LC Members only)
6. President’s Reserve
7. Press Gallery
8. Rear Chamber Doors
9. President
10. Clerk
11. Chair of Committees
12. Deputy Clerk
13. Table of the Council
14. Usher of the Black Rod
15. Second Clerk-Assistant
16. Seating Members of both Houses
beyond the Bar of the Council
17. Public Gallery
18. Chamber Doors (Members Only)
19. Members’ Benches
20. Deputy Leader of the Government
21. Leader of the Government
22. Adviser to Leader of the Government
23. Special Advisers
24. Hansard Monitor

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