Capital Hill Canberra Australian Capital Territory is the location of Parliament House, Canberra, at the south apex of the land axis of the Parliamentary Triangle.
The site was selected as the location of the Capitol in Walter Burley Griffin’s Canberra design in 1912, which he envisaged to be “either a general administration structure for popular receptions and ceremony or for housing archives and commemorating Australian Achievements”. The proposed building is commemorated in the name of the Capitol Theatre, Manuka. However, Griffin’s name for the hill was subsequently changed to Capital Hill.
The Parliament buildings were to be located a little further down the hill towards Lake Burley Griffin at Camp Hill, between Capital Hill and the Provisional Parliament House. Griffin opposed the plan to build a Provisional Parliament House on the lower slopes of Camp Hill, because he considered that it would make it difficult to build the permanent Parliament House on Camp Hill, as the provisional building would have to be demolished.
In fact, in the 1958 and 1964 Holford plans for the Parliamentary Triangle, the site for the New Parliament House was moved to the lake shore, partly for this reason. Holford also reportedly said that a lakeside site would discourage politicians from seeing themselves as superior to ordinary people.
However, in 1978 Parliament voted to move the Parliament to its permanent location on Capital Hill, which it saw as befitting the eminence of the institution. Construction of the new parliament buildings commenced in 1981 and the new building was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1988, when the Parliament relocated from the old building.
Capital Hill was previously named Kurrajong Hill and is around 2.5 km², surrounded by a circular road (Capital Circle). Until the construction of the current Parliament House, the hill was covered with scrubby native bushland.