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History, house and grounds

Parliament’s history and the history of the building and grounds strongly reflect Westminster tradition and the impact of social and economic change in our state. Collectively, they also show the value of parliamentary democracy to the community, including freedom of speech, equal voting rights, and a government elected by a majority.

History of parliamentary democracy in WA

Our Westminster system of democracy has evolved due to the community’s fight for independence from the UK Parliament and equal voting rights.
Hansard bound volumes on a shelf in the Parliamentary library

History of the grounds

Used for civic ceremonies and rallies, the grounds have evolved in response to land excisions, horticultural interests and conservation measures.
The gardens fronting the 1904 western side of Parliament House in flower during Spring

History of the building

The mixed design of Parliament House is a reflection of our state’s social history, changing architectural trends and economy.
The 1904 façade of Parliament House showing the federation architecture of the former colonnades

History publications

Publications on our parliamentary system, members and building history, have been produced by our dedicated history program.
Parliamentary Fellow, Associate Professor Dr Harry Phillips AM, seated researching in the Parliamentary Library