Image: Patty Mazza
A growing colony needed a hospital so Governor Macquarie in 1810 entered into an arrangement with a consortium of business men to build a hospital. The contract was for a three year monopoly over the rum trade. This explains how the hospital became known as the Rum Hospital - it was completed in 1816. By the mid 1820ís officials advising Macquarie were meeting in the Chief Surgeonís quarters in the hospital Ė the Legislative Council was born. Over the next 30 years, buildings were added to the north and south ends providing chambers for the upper and lower houses forming the new parliament.
The New South Wales Parliament still occupies those original buildings and visitors can experience the history of the place where government first started in the new colony.
General information for people with disabilities attending Parliament House is contained in the following link: http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/web/
common.nsf/key/ContactUs#Visiting It contains a wide range of access information including accessing alternative format documents, if you are coming to attend committee proceedings at Parliament House and transcripts of evidence.
Visitors enter from Macquarie St through a security screening station. You are then ushered to the lift via ramp. Prior notice is not usually essential but can be given by phoning 9230 2219. The lift conveys visitors to each floor and Reception on Level 7. Access is available to the Legislative Assembly and by ramp access to the Legislative Council Chamber. Accessible toilet facilities are located on Level 7.
Hearing induction and infra-red sound enhancement systems are installed in the visitors galleries of the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council chambers and in the Jubilee Room, the main hearing room of the Parliament and the Parliamentary Theatrette.
Photo: Supplied by Parliament House, Fountain Court
The NSW Parliament is open to visitors on a daily basis but access to the Chambers is not available when Parliament is sitting, access is then restricted to the Visitors' Galleries (bookings are advisable for Question Time in the Legislative Assembly). The Parliament House web page lists the gazetted sitting days: Sitting Days Calendar.
Several forms of tour are conducted. Pre booked School Group Tours of 60-90 minutes duration on non-sitting days. Limited ability to offer Tours when Parliament is sitting, followed by the opportunity to view Question Time. Public Tours are conducted on the first Thursday of each month, commencing at 1:00pm and need not be booked. Parliament House also opens to the public on Australia Day (26 January) as part of the The Macquarie St Historic Precinct celebrations.
An interesting Closed Captioned virtual tour of Macquarie St forms part of the Virtual Tour page of the Parliament House website, Main Page.
Accessible eating options near to State Parliament House are cafes at the State Library NSW, Sydney Eye Hospital and Hyde Park Barracks. Gift Shops are located at the State Library NSW and Hyde Park Barracks.
Macquarie St runs south from Circular Quay, adjacent to the Opera House. However there is a steep incline up to the State Library of New South Wales, but it levels out to Parliament House. There are several busy roads to cross (traffic lights and kerb crossings are provided).
Transport options include the Sydney Explorer Bus which stops in Macquarie St opposite the library. Train stations at Circular Quay and Martin Place (less than 300m away) offer easy access lifts.
Four dedicated access parking spaces are provided in Shakespeare Place, on the corner of The Macquarie St Historic Precinct and the Cahill Expressway. Underground parking, can be booked on (02) 9273 1600, and accessed from Hospital Road, behind the State Library of NSW. Basement commercial parking is available in the Sydney Hospital car park, also accessed from Hospital Rd.
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Image: Patty Mazza
6 The Macquarie St Historic Precinct,
Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: + 61 2 9230 2111
TTY: + 61 2 9230 2838
State Parliament House
Open hours, 9am-5pm every weekday except public holidays.
No admission fees.