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People and Organisations

City of Greater Geelong

  • Corporate body
  • 1993 - current

The City of Greater Geelong was created on 18 May 1993 by the City of Greater Geelong Act 1993 amalgamating six Geelong region Councils, Bellarine Rural City, Newtown City, Corio Shire, Geelong West City, Geelong City, South Barwon City and parts of Barrabool Shire and Bannockburn Shire. Local Government Reform The City of Greater Geelong was created as part of a statewide program of local government reform enacted between 1993 and 1995. The reform process reduced the number of councils from 210 to 78.

Colac City Council

  • Corporate body
  • 1938 - current

The municipality was severed from Colac Shire and created a Borough on 19 January 1938. It was proclaimed a Town on 21 June 1948. It was proclaimed a City on 5 March 1960

Colac Shire Council

  • Corporate body
  • 1859 - 1994

Colac was created a District on 11 March 1859. It was proclaimed a Shire on 10 May 1864. It was redefined on 7 November 1890. It was re-subdivided into 4 Ridings on 31 March 1901 when the Township of Colac was created. It was part severed and constituted part of Otway Shire on 6 May 1919. It was part severed and constituted as the Borough of Colac on 19 January 1938. Local Government Reform The Shire was abolished in 1994 as part of a statewide program of local government reform enacted between 1993 and 1995. The reform process reduced the number of councils from 210 to 78. It amalgamated with Barrabool Shire and severances from Greater Geelong and Winchelsea Shire on 9 March 1994. Its subsequent agency is Winchelsea Shire.


  • Corporate body


  • Family

Corio Shire Council

  • Corporate body
  • 1861 - 1993

Corio was proclaimed a District on 3 April 1861. It was proclaimed a Shire on 21 June 1864. It was redefined by part of Lara Riding being severed and annexed to Bacchus Marsh Shire on 15 March 1911. Part of Steiglitz Riding of Bannockburn Shire was severed and annexed to Corio Shire on 31 May 1916. Part of Moorpanyal Riding was severed and annexed to Geelong West Town as West Ward on 9 December 1926. Local Government Reform 1993-1995 The Shire was abolished on 18 May 1993 as part of a statewide program of local government reform enacted between 1993 and 1995. The reform process reduced the number of councils from 210 to 78. The City of Greater Geelong (VA 3149) has been appointed as the successor in law of the Shire of Corio and has assumed its rights, assets and liabilities.

Country Roads Board

  • Corporate body
  • 1913 - 1983

Background to Establishment of the Country Roads Board By 1910 it had become increasingly apparent that there was a need for a central roads authority to take over responsibility from the Board of Lands and Works (VA 744) for the care and management of the main roads of the state. Up to this time there was a lack of co-operation between the agencies with operational responsibility for roads, the Roads and Bridges Branch of the public Works Department (VA 669) and local municipalities, in the construction and maintenance of main roads. Expenditure of State funds was without proper supervision or a thorough investigation into actual needs. The absence of a systematic policy, as well as a lack of funds, had resulted in Victorian roads being in a deplorable condition. At this time the use of the motor car accentuated the demands for better roads. As a result of these needs the Country Roads Act 1912 (No.2415) was proclaimed in 1913 providing for the establishment of the Country Roads Board as a central road authority with responsibility for those roads within the State considered to be main roads. Functions of the Board Initial functions of the Board, as defined by the Act, were: to ascertain which roads should be main roads, to ascertain the most effective methods of road construction and maintenance, to ascertain the deviations in existing roads or new roads which would facilitate communication and improve conditions for traffic. After an initial investigation by the Board construction guidelines were established and the letting of construction contracts, either directly by the Board or by municipal councils, proceeded by circa 1915. Although the Country Roads Board was established in 1913 to co-ordinate the construction and maintenance of main roads and bridges the Public Works Department (VA 669), through its Roads and Bridges Section, continued to have a role in the construction of roads and bridges. The final report of the Royal Commission on the State Public Service in 1917 indicates that the Public Works Department confined its operations chiefly to by-roads, tourist roads and special roads, although some overlapping with the Board could occur. The report which made no mention of bridge construction by the Public Works Department, proposed the amalgamation of the Roads and Bridges Section with the Country Roads Board. It is not clear exactly when the Public Works Department ceased to exercise any responsibility for road construction. Therefore, despite the establishment of the Country Roads Board, the Board of Land and Works (VA 744) presumably continued to have some statutory responsibility for roads, and possibly bridges, until the Country Roads Board assumed full authority (by 1936?). Extensions of Responsibilities At various times other types of roads were proclaimed under legislation and subsequently came within the responsibility of the Country Roads Board. The Development Roads Act 1918 provided for the declaration of 'Developmental Roads', roads which would serve to develop any area of land by providing access to a railway station for primary producers. The Highways and Vehicles Act 1924 provided for the declaration of certain arterial roads as State Highways. The Tourists' Roads Act 1936 provided for the declaration of roads of sufficient interest or roads leading to tourist resorts or attractions as Tourists Roads. Construction of tourists roads had occurred prior to this on an ad hoc basis from at least 1917, through the Tourists Resorts Committee which functioned within the Department of Public Works (VA 669), however no provisions had existed for maintenance or improvement prior to this Act. The Country Roads Board continued to have responsibility for tourists' roads until 1983 when it was succeeded by the Road Construction Authority (VA 1054). The Country Roads Act 1956 enabled the Board to construct by-pass roads which became popularly known as freeways. The Board also exercised some responsibility for other outer-metropolitan roads and, in conjunction with Municipal Councils, for unclassified roads. Other functions of the Board have included: inspection and supervision of the construction and maintenance of country bridges, control of speed and weight of commercial goods vehicles, licensing of country, commercial, passenger vehicles including touring and light motor omnibuses and prescription of routes, under the Motor Omnibus Acts (until 1934 when the Transport Regulation Board (VA 2738) inherited this responsibility), collecting on behalf of the Traffic Commission, a body made up of representatives of agencies concerned with traffic management, data on road safety and traffic accidents (until 1971 when this function was inherited by the Road Safety and Traffic Authority (VA 487)). Following an amendment to the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works Act in 1956 (No. 5982) the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (VA 1007) was vested with responsibility for the construction and maintenance of proclaimed metropolitan bridges and main highways. In July 1974 the Country Roads Board resumed responsibility for such roads and bridges under the provisions of the Metropolitan Bridges Highways and Foreshores Act 1974. Decentralisation of Administration Increases in the Board's direct responsibilities and the necessity for the supervision and control of works entrusted to municipalities led the Board in 1926 to adopt a scheme of decentralization. Over time the following ten regional divisions, each headed by a Divisional Engineer, were established: Bairnsdale, Ballarat, Benalla, Bendigo, Dandenong, Geelong, Horsham, Metropolitan, Traralgon and Warnambool. At present only the Ballarat Division has been registered (VA 1021). Ministerial Responsibility Until 1970, the Country Roads Board reported directly to the Minister responsible for Public Works. On 12 June 1970 the Minister for Local Government assumed responsibility for the Country Roads Act, and from 19 May 1973 the Board reported to the Minister for Transport. Restructuring of Transport Portfolio and Abolition of the Board 1983 In 1982 the administration of the State's transport authorities began to undergo a significant transformation. Under the provisions of the West Gate Bridge Authority (Transfer of Functions) Act 1982, proclaimed on 1 July 1982, responsibility for the functions of the Westgate Bridge Authority were transferred to the Country Roads Board. The following year, on 30 June 1983, the Country Roads Board was succeeded by the Road Construction Authority (VA 1054) established under the provisions of the Transport Act 1983 (No.9921). Location of Records See also List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, section 3.21.13


  • Family

Department of Crown Lands and Survey (Geelong Division)

  • Corporate body
  • 1921 - 1983

The primary responsibilities of the Department of Crown Lands and Survey, Geelong Division was the administration of survey and mapping and the sale, occupation and management of Crown land in the region. The Department also exercised responsibility for closer settlement, soldier settlement and the destruction of vermin and noxious weeds. In 1983 the Department of Crown Lands and Survey was abolished and the Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands (VA 1034) was established.

Department of Trade and Customs

  • Corporate body
  • 1851 - 1901

Formation of Department of Trade and Customs 1851 The Department of Trade and Customs was established in 1851 under the Collector of Customs who was also an officer of the Executive Council. From 1855 a newly appointed Commissioner for Trade and Customs had ministerial responsibility for the Department and the Collector's position evolved into that of Permanent Head or Chief Administrator. Responsibilities for trade, customs, ports and harbours were inherited from the Superintendent of the Port Phillip District (see VA 473). By 1851 trade and customs controls were well established in the District under a Sub-Collector of Customs, also an appointee of the British Board of Commissioners of Customs. Prior to 1851 Port Phillip had been surveyed and charted, ports and harbours facilities installed, bay pilots appointed, permanent navigation aids erected and a harbour master appointed. Functional Responsibilities 1851 to 1900/1901 The prime functions of the Department of Trade and Customs related to: collection of customs duties distilleries and excise explosives and powder magazines fisheries ports and harbours navigation, lighthouses. Ports and Harbours From the beginning of the Department of Trade and Customs a number of functions were consistently grouped together administratively and this grouping subsequently became identified as the Ports and Harbours Branch of the Department. The Ports and Harbours Branch was responsible for: control of vessel movements into and out of Victorian ports regulation of loading and discharging of goods including the collection of wharfage rates provision of pilot services construction and maintenance of Government marine vessels maintenance of navigational aids and operation of lighthouses, lightships and signal stations provision of emergency services along the Victorian coast immigration and emigration (see below) Between 1864 and 1874 the Alfred Graving Dock at Williamstown was constructed by the Government and thereafter was administered by the Ports and Harbours Branch. In 1877 responsibility for ports and harbours functions within the Port of Melbourne was assumed by the newly-established Melbourne Harbor Trust Commissioners (VA 2799). In 1900, immediately prior to the abolition of the Department of Trade and Customs, the Ports and Harbours Branch was transferred to the Public Works Department (VA 669). At this time the Branch was also responsible for the inspection of fisheries, which had emerged as a responsibility of the Department of Trade and Customs in 1873, following proclamation of the Fisheries Act (1873) 37 Vic., No.473. Immigration 1855-1900 From 1855 to 1900 Trade and Customs was also responsible for functions relating to immigration, previously undertaken by the Colonial Secretary (VA 856). Operational responsibilities rested with the Immigration Agent, an officer of the Ports and Harbours Branch of the Department, for: administration of assisted immigration and nomination schemes (to 1883) monitoring of immigrant arrivals and departures, including regulation of alien immigration, naturalisation, and certification of passenger lists reception and initial settlement of immigrants (to 1883). The promotion of migration and the selection and conveyance of migrants at the British end was the responsibility of the British Emigration Agent until the appointment in 1868 of the Agent-General for Victoria in London. The Office of the Agent-General was established by the Victorian Immigration Statute 1864 (27 Vic., No.195) to assume responsibility for promoting migration, selecting migrants and arranging their passage on behalf of the Victorian Colonial Government. The Statute which consolidated earlier legislation, including the 1863 Act (27 Vic., No.175), also provided for the employment of Immigration Committees to assist new arrivals to settle and find employment, introduced government and ly-sponsored nomination schemes, and provided for alien (i.e. non-British) immigration. Separate legislation, also administered by Trade and Customs officers, applied to Chinese immigrants who were required to pay an impost on entry and a yearly impost thereafter, which included their Miner's Right (see the 1854, 1857 and 1859 Statutes, 18 Vic., No.39, 21 Vic., No.41, and 22 Vic., No.80). During the Gold Rush period, 1851-1861, most migrants paid their own way and Government schemes of assisted immigration were largely eclipsed. By 1873, as a result of the economic situation, the government began to withdraw financial support for assisted immigration and by 1883 such immigration ceased altogether. The Government-sponsored nomination scheme for immigrants with special skills was also phased out. (It is unclear however, whether a nomination scheme continued for unassisted immigrants). Unassisted immigration from British and foreign ports continued strongly throughout the latter half of the century. From December 1900, the Chief Secretary (VA 475) assumed responsibility for the control of alien immigration and naturalisation and the Public Works Department (VA 669) became responsible for the monitoring of immigrant arrivals and departures in 1900. These responsibilities passed to the Commonwealth in 1904 and 1923 respectively. For details of the resumption of assisted immigration in 1906 when, under the Closer Settlement Act 1906 (No.2067), the Commissioner of Crown Lands and Survey became responsible for administering the nomination scheme, and for provision of reception, initial settlement and employment services, see VA 538 Department of Crown Lands and Survey. Pilot Board Pilot Board, later the Marine Board (VA 1425), was responsible for mercantile marine matters, including standards of marine safety, shipping registration and certification of pilots, ships masters, mates and engineers. Staff carrying out the functions of the Board were mainly located within the Department of Trade and Customs until 1901. Federation 1901 Upon Federation the Commonwealth (VRG 87) assumed responsibility for the key trade and customs functions and the Victorian Department was abolished. Mercantile marine matters, explosives and control of alien immigration passed to the Chief Secretary's Department (VA 475), while the Public Works Department (VA 669) had inherited ports and harbours, including lighthouses and navigation, fisheries and the monitoring of immigrant arrivals and departures in 1900. Location of Records There are extensive holdings of 19th and early 20th century immigration records (to 1923). Naturalisation records were inherited by the Commonwealth and are held by Australian Archives. See List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, section 3.6.0 (Fisheries and Wildlife), 3.10.0 (Immigration), 3.16.4 (Colonial Secretary) 3.21.0 (Transport), 16.13.0 (Mercantile Marine, Ports and Harbours) and 16.25.0 (Trade and Customs). See also list below for records of this agency relating to the Ports and Harbours function.

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