|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
The Mildura Vineyards Protection Board was constituted under the Mildura Vineyards Protection Act 1918 (No. 2959), which came into force on 1 February 1919. The Mildura Vineyards Protection Act 1922 (No. 3229) extended the power of the Board to create by-laws. The Mildura Vineyards Protection Act 1931 (No. 3983) repealed the 1918 and 1922 Acts and dissolved the Mildura Vineyards Protection Board. Property and assets of the Board were to be liquidated and the funds paid towards the Mildura High School Scholarship Fund.
Section 3 of the 1918 Act created a provisional Mildura Vineyards Protection Board, consisting of the councillors of the council of the Shire of Mildura. Under Section 4, the Governor in Council could create a vineyards protection district and board, upon petition by a majority of owners and occupiers of vineyards in any area within the Shire of Mildura. Regulations relating to the petition and election process for the boards were published in the Government Gazette of 12 November 1919 (pp. 2648-2650). As the Mildura Vineyards Protection Board was the only board dissolved under the 1931 Act, it is likely that it was the only board created under the Acts.
The provisional Mildura Vineyards Protection Board first met on 19 March 1919. At a meeting of the provisional Board on 5 May 1920, a petition was forwarded requesting that the Shire of Mildura be made a vineyards protection district, consisting of three divisions. The order constituting the District and Board was gazetted on 2 June 1920, to take effect from 31 July 1920. On 30 August 1920, nominations were received for election of the Board and the Board was appointed at a meeting on 14 September 1920.
The role of the Board was to protect vines within the Shire of Mildura from diseases, particularly the disease of the vines caused by the insect phylloxera rastatrix.
The Board had the power to:
Levy an annual vineyards protection rate on occupiers or owners of vineyards within its district, based on the age of vines planted [S.5];
Levy an annual charge on winemakers and distillers within its district [S.6];
Appoint inspectors [S.10];
Make by-laws [S.16];
Quarantine areas and destroy vines [S.12];
Pay compensation for destruction of vines, gardens, orchards or produce [S.17];
Propagate, sell and distribute phylloxera resistant vines, conduct research, and acquire or lease land for this purpose [S.25].
All monies received by the Board were to be paid into a vineyards protection fund, to be used for payment of compensation and expenses incurred in the work of the Board [S.8].
Although there is no obvious reference to a formal reporting arrangement, it is likely that the Board reported to the Department of Agriculture. The Board corresponded with the Department on matters such as the creation of the Board (see minutes of 7 July 1920). The Board also had a close connection with the Mildura Shire Council. A brief history of the Board in the minutes of 9 August 1922 indicates that the Shire had been undertaking activities in relation to vineyards protection from about 1905, assisted by grants from the Department of Agriculture. The provisional Board consisted of the Shire councillors, and continued to meet in the Shire offices until at least 1923. Employees of the Board (for example, inspectors and rate collectors) are not listed in the Public Service List, but may have been employees of the Shire Council.
Although legislation dissolving the Board came into effect in 1932, it is not clear whether the Board was active throughout the entire period from 1919 to 1932. Records held by the PRO indicate that the Board was active from 1919 until at least 1928. The financial year ending 30 September 1927 may have been the final year for which the vineyards protection rate was levied.
Mildura Vineyards Protection Act 1918 (No. 2959)
Amended by the Mildura Vineyards Protection Act 1922 (No. 3229).
Repealed by the Mildura Vineyards Protection Act 1931 (No. 3983) on 1 April 1932.