The exterior of Parliament House

Parliament House of South Australia

Parliament House is open to the public and gives visitors the chance to explore one of the city's most impressive buildings while learning about the political past, present and future of the region and Australia.

The Parliament of South Australia consists of two houses - the Legislative Council and the House of Assembly. They govern South Australia according to the traditions of the Westminster System of parliament. Every Member of Parliament must take an oath, or make an affirmation, of allegiance to the Queen of England. There must be a session of parliament at least once in every year, and the maximum life of a government is four years.

Visiting Parliament House

Visitors are welcomed to watch the action unfold whenever parliament is sitting, or take advantage of the free tours which are available on non-sitting weekdays at 10am and 2pm.

When parliament is sitting, visitors can also sit in on popular highlight 'Question Time', which sees some members of government and staff answering questions about the city and beyond.

Parliament House history

Although it appears to be an imposing building, South Australia's Parliament House was built in two sections. In 1873, Edmund Wright, ex-Mayor of the city and architect of the Adelaide Town Hall and GPO, won a competition with his Melbourne-based colleague to design a new Parliament House. Issues with the site and costs meant the first section was only completed in 1889, a year after Wright’s death. It carries the faces of leading parliamentarians and Governors of that era in the keystones of the upstairs windows.

The second section was finally completed 50 years later with the help of a £100,000 donation from Sir John Langdon Bonython, son of Langdon Bonython.

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