When and how did Parliament start in Melbourne?

Melbourne was never the capital of Australia. There is a common misconception that, because Melbourne was the temporary seat of government between Federation (1901) and 1927, that it was also the capital. This was not the case, as it was never officially designated the title of Capital - not even temporarily. Melbourne was the only city with a building large enough to house Parliament.

Australia's two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, had been rivals since before the goldrush days. It was therefore decided that the nation's capital should be situated between the two cities. A location was chosen which was 248km from Sydney and 483km from Melbourne. Thus, Canberra became Australia's first, and only, capital city.

From 1901 to 1927, the Australian Parliament met in Parliament House, Melbourne, which it borrowed from the parliament of the state of Victoria, which in turn sat in the Exhibition Building. This had to occur whilst the city of Canberra and Parliament House was being built.