|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
The Vermin and Noxious Weeds Destruction Board was established under the Vermin and Noxious Weeds Act 1958 (No. 6409), its primary function being to advise the Minister of Lands on vermin and noxious weed control within Victoria. A subsequent amendment Act, the Vermin and Noxious Weeds Act 1959 (No 6518), governed the creation and administration of the Board and other related organisations. The Vermin and Noxious Weeds Destruction Board operated from 1959 until it was abolished in 1983. It consisted of three members, who were to be appointed by the Governor-in-Council. These were: a Chairman, who performed the duties of the Superintendent of Vermin and Noxious Weeds, a university graduate who had studied vermin/noxious weed control and destruction, and a person with practical knowledge of agriculture and experience with the destruction of vermin and noxious weeds. These Board members were generally recruited from within the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (538), Division of Inspection.
As part of the Division of Inspection (later known as The Division of Inspection of Vermin and Noxious Weeds Destruction), the Board oversaw and participated in the Division's functions. These were to investigate, promote, and undertake remedial and preventative measures of vermin and noxious weed control; to conduct scientific research, and to ensure the control or destruction of proclaimed vermin or noxious weeds by instructing land holders and conducting field inspections. The land inspections were carried out by the Inspectors of Land Settlement (later known as Inspector of Lands). The inspectors also instructed and supervised local landholders with vermin and noxious weeds control methods, and performed other duties related to the occupation, sale, and management of Victorian Crown Land. The Keith Turnbull Research Institute conducted research into methods of vermin and noxious weed control. The Extension Officers were primarily responsible for the creation and distribution of promotional material concerning vermin and noxious weeds control management. The Board used the information gathered within the Division to conduct its business.
To assist the Vermin and Noxious Weeds Destruction Board, the Act also created several other agencies. These were a Central Advisory Council to the Board, and various local District Advisory Committees. The Council comprised the Minister, the members of the Board, and representatives of the Chamber of Agriculture and principal farmers/graziers/dairy organisations within Victoria. The local Committees consisted of the inspector of the locality and others appointed by the Minister on recommendations provided by the Board. It was the function of the Central Advisory Council to advise the Board and Minister on all matters relating to vermin and noxious weeds control and destruction. The functions of the Committees were to confer and cooperate with the Inspectors and local people with regard to appropriate times for destruction campaigns, area specific priorities, the most efficient and effective equipment to be used in specific areas for specific campaigns, the promotion of local interests, coordination of activities, and to cooperate with and report to the Central Advisory Council.
From 1977 the Vermin and Noxious Weeds Destruction Board operated as the Department of Crown Lands and Survey Division of Inspection and Vermin and Noxious Weeds Destruction. This was not an administrative change, but a reflection of a decentralisation of departmental functions, which placed a primary focus on the regional committees rather than on the centralised Board.
Reorganisation saw the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538), the Forest Commission (VA 534), and the Ministry for Conservation (VA 551) form a new Department - the Department of Conservation, Forests, and Lands (VA 1034). Formed on 2 November 1983, the new Department's structure and operational arrangements officially came into effect from 1 July 1984. The Vermin and Noxious Weeds Destruction Board was abolished by the Vermin and Noxious Weeds (Re-Organisation) Act 1983 (Act No. 9950). Its policy and planning responsibilities were continued by the Land Protection Service of the new Department, whilst the Regional Management Division took over the Board's operational responsibilities. The re-organisation Act created the Land Protection Council, legislated that the Vermin and Noxious Weeds Destruction Board was to be replaced by the Secretary for Lands, and focused on District and Regional Advisory Committees. Job titles of the Inspectors changed to Land Management Officers, which reflected the new direction in which the Department was heading.