|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
The Department of State Development was established in 1971 following the proclamation of the State Development Act 1970 (No.8081). Prior to 1971 the Premier's Department (VA 2717) had responsibility for state development, administration of the decentralisation of industry, tourism and national parks. The Chief Secretary's Department (VA 475) had been responsible for immigration.
The primary function of the department was to promote activities leading to the full and proper development of the State, decentralisation and industrial development.
Following a re-organisation in 1972 the Department was also known as the Department of State Development and Decentralisation.
Economic and Regional Development
Responsibilities in this area included the:
relocation of secondary industry to country areas through the provision of advisory services, initial financial assistance and continuing incentives and subsidies
establishment of new industries in rural areas
improvement of amenities in country areas through the granting of financial assistance to municipalities and other agencies.
The Department's regional development role included detailed investigation of the resources of each of thirteen regions; consideration of their developmental problems and prospects; co-ordination of regional studies of matters such as land use, primary production, tourism potential, water resources and wildlife preservation; and identification of localities for accelerated development.
These activities were undertaken in co-operation with representatives of regional communities and other interested parties such as trade unions.
In 1978 these functions were inherited by the Department of State Development, Decentralisation and Tourism (VA 2881).
National Parks and Environmental Protection
The Departments' environmental protection responsibilities included the management of all wastes entering the environment and the control of air, water and land pollution, excessive noises and litter, responsibility for which had previously been separately exercised by many government agencies. The Department was responsible for promoting and establishing National Parks, their control and maintenance. In 1973 the Ministry for Conservation (VA 551) assumed responsibility for both National Parks and environment protection issues.
In 1971 the Department undertook the role of department of state for the Tourism portfolio (VRG 59) when the Ministry of Tourism 1 (VA 2919) was abolished. These functions included:
encouraging the development of tourist attractions and facilities
promotion of tourism in the State
provision of tourist information and travel services
operation and administration of tourist bureaux
acquisition of property for tourism development.
For a brief account of the administration of tourism between 1888 and 1987 see VRG 91 Tourism III.
An Immigration Division was established within the Department of State Development assuming responsibility for immigration functions previously undertaken by the State Immigration Office (or Immigration Branch) located within the Chief Secretary's Department (VA 475).
The Division administered assisted immigration from the United Kingdom, involving the processing of three types of nominations:
personal nominations (later known as personal sponsorship) of British residents made by a resident of Victoria who may be a relative, friend or employer
group nominations (later known as employer sponsorship) usually made by commercial enterprises seeking to recruit particular categories of workers
State nominations (later known as State sponsorship) of British residents who were without personal or group sponsorship.
It also had responsibility for:
reception and assimilation of migrants
provision of migrant welfare services
liaison with and support of voluntary and community groups providing assistance to migrants
assisting in the investigation process of nominations under the Community Refugee Settlement Scheme
In June 1975 the responsibilities of the Division expanded to include the administration of nominations for unassisted immigration from the United Kingdom.
In February 1977 a Ministry of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (VA 1042) was established assuming responsibility for all immigration functions of the Immigration Division. Although responsible to a Minister of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, the Ministry continued to be administratively located within the Department of State Development and Decentralization (VA 552) until 1978. It was then located within the Department of State Development, Decentralization and Tourism (VA 2881), until 1981 when it gained full departmental independence.
Location of Records
Some records are held at the Public Record Office. See also List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, sections 3.13.4. (State Development and Decentralisation) and 3.10.2 (immigration records).