Australia’s Parliament House – Canberra

Today I took frankenspouse and the kiddies to Parliament House in Canberra, Australia’s national capital city. Usually, kids go on excursions down to Canberra through the schools they attend though some of our kids missed out.

Security is tight now with barriers so cars cannot ram the building. The Australian Federal Police guard the parliament with what looks like AR15 rifles. This is a bit of a downer that it has come to this. Upon entry your bags are xrayed and you go through a standard body screening process.

The first place we visited was the house of representatives which is green in colour.

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This is where the prime minister and government reside on one side is the government the other side is the opposition and space is there for non-political party representative’s. The speaker of the house sits in the centre and directs the debates. There is a gallery for people to sit and observe proceedings.

We then walked to the other side which is the Senate chambers which is red.

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Before anything becomes law in Australia it must pass a vote in the House of Representatives and also it must pass a vote in the Senate. It causes frustration to governments throughout our history as it may pass a vote in the house of representatives but not pass the Senate, therefore, it can not become law. The Senate is seen as a house of review.

There is a lot to see at parliament house not just the chambers, great hall and committee rooms but you also see items given to Australia from foreign visits and dignitaries. I personally like the paintings of all former Prime Ministers.

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It will take a couple of hours to have a good look around. You are able to buy food and drink on site which is pretty good. They also have a shop that sells souvenirs, not sure why you would but it is there none the less. You once were able to access virtually all of parliament house such as the grasses area’s though I believe due to security you are no longer able to do this.

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There is plenty of parking on site so there is no hassle there and its free for the first two hours. From the front of the parliament house, you can look up Anzac parade to see the Australian War Memorial.

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