House of Assembly Chamber

From 1856 to 1940 the House of Assembly used as its chamber the room which is now the Members' Lounge. During the late 1930s renovations and extensions were carried out which provided for a new chamber as well as more office accommodation and improvements to other facilities

Long room

The House of Assembly Members Lounge, which was used as the House of Assembly Chamber from 1856 to 1940.

The present chamber was opened on 14 May 1940 by the Premier, the Honourable Robert Cosgrove MP. It was remodelled in the late 1970s, mainly to provide for better acoustics due to the impending introduction of Hansard. The chamber was further remodelled during 2008 and returned to the style of the original 1940s chamber. The modernisation included installation of television cameras, computer access, disabled access and modern facilities for members and the public. The chamber was formally opened on 26 February 2009.

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House of Assembly

In the House of Assembly the political grouping which has a majority of the members, i.e. 13 or more, forms the Government, but on several occasions in Tasmania's recent history there has been a government which has not had a majority and has formed a formal or casual coalition with members of another party or independents to form a government.

The government leader is the Premier and the size of the ministry varies but can be no more than ten. The largest minority party in the House is known as the Opposition and is the 'alternative government'.

The initiative for government action resides with the House of Assembly. Nearly all legislation is introduced to the Parliament in the Assembly. Appropriation, land tax and income tax bills must originate in the House of Assembly.

It is in the House of Assembly that governments are made, where their policies first take legislative shape, and where a government comes face to face with the Opposition, which will attempt to show itself to be a better choice for government by pointing out deficiencies, as it sees them, in government policies and suggesting alternative policies to those put forward by the Government. The Government has the opportunity in the House to explain its policies fully and the action it intends to take to implement them.

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Relations with the Legislative Council

Parliament museum

The basement of Parliament House where the Parliamentary Museum is located.

The two Houses of the Tasmanian Parliament have almost equal powers. Appropriation and taxation legislation must be introduced in the House of Assembly and the Legislative Council may either accept or reject, but not amend it. It is a convention that the initiation of legislation resides in the House of Assembly, leaving the Legislative Council to act as a House of review.

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