|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
Establishment and Functions
Provisions for the election of Market Commissioners were established in 1839 by An Act to authorise the establishment of Markets in certain Towns in the colony of New South Wales and for the appointment of commissioners to manage the same (3 Vic. No.19).
The Act empowered the Police Magistrate of a Town to hold a public meeting if twenty-five or more signatures had been received calling for the establishment of a market.
If the meeting had a resolution calling for the establishment of a market then the Police Magistrate would advise the Colonial Secretary of the resolution. The Governor, on the recommendation of the Executive Council would then approve the establishment of a market. Notification would be through the New South Wales Government Gazette.
The Governor, on the advice of the Executive Council, could fix the number of Market Commissioners in proportion to the town population. If the town had a population of more than four thousand then the Governor could divide the town into wards (not to be less than three) and have at least two commissioners for each ward.
The Market Commissioners were to be elected from proprietors of land and householders within the town limits. The voters were householders or occupiers of houses valued at more than 20 pounds and proprietors of land or buildings to the value of 200 pounds. The Market Commissioners were to hold office for three years.
The Market Commissioners could make rules and regulations in respect of markets and make alterations to these rules and regulations if necessary. The Commissioners could also approve designated marketplaces and could receive tolls for those markets.
In Melbourne the first market was established on the 22 October 1841, at which time Melbourne was divided into four wards for the purpose of electing Market Commissioners. The Commissioners held their first meeting on the 8 November 1841.
The four wards created to elect the Market Commissioners were used as the basis for the original four wards (Bourke, Gipps, LaTrobe, Lonsdale) of the Town of Melbourne (VA 511).
Transfer of Powers
Following the creation of the Town of Melbourne in 1842 (6 Vic. No.7) the powers of the Market Commissioners were transferred to the Town of Melbourne Council.
Sections 71 and 72 of the Melbourne Incorporation Act (6 Vic. No.7) deal with the transfer of the Market Commissioners powers to the newly formed council.
Location of Records
The only identified records of the Market Commissioners in Public Record Office Victoria custody are the minutes of meetings held between the 8 November 1841 and 20 December 1842. These records are found at the front of the first unit of VPRS 4030 Markets Committee Minutes of Meetings.
It is possible that correspondence from or regarding the Market Commissioners may be found in the custody of the Archives Authority of New South Wales (such as Colonial Secretary or Governors Inward Correspondence), but further research is required to establish if this is the case.