The first Australian parliament with Edmund Barton as Prime Minister, was opened in Melbourne by Prince George, Duke of Cornwall and York, later King George V. It followed elections at the end of March after the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901. Barton headed a coalition government composed of his own Protectionist Party but with crucial support from the Australian Labour Party pictured here.
The official opening was attended by 14,000 people and had to be held in the Royal Exhibition Hall to accommodate them. The parliament then sat in Parliament House, home of the Parliament of Victoria until 1927 when new parliament buildings were opened in Canberra.
Location taken: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
- 1901-05-09 The first Australian Parliament opens in Melbourne, though the first working session will not be until 21 May