|Description of this FunctionDescription of this Function|
In 1917 the Discharged Soldiers' Settlement Act (No.2916) made provision for the Lands Purchase and Management Board, subsequently the Closer Settlement Board (VA 2266), to reserve areas for selection by discharged soldiers under the provisions of the Closer Settlement Act (No.2629). In addition, the Act conferred upon the Board the power to make special provisions for the settlement of discharged soldiers.
Under the same legislation the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission (VA 723), and thus the Minister of Water Supply, acquired control of soldier settlement on irrigable lands until 1933 when all land settlement functions passed to the Closer Settlement Commission (VA 2268).
Responsibility for soldier settlement functions continued in the closer settlement agencies, the Closer Settlement Board (VA 2266) and the Closer Settlement Commission (VA 2268), until 1938 when direct control of the administration of all land settlement functions returned to the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538).
In 1946 the Soldier Settlement Commission (VA 2270) was established under the auspices of the State/Commonwealth Agreement for the repatriation of returned servicemen/women (Act No.5170). The Commission reported to the Commissioner of Crown Lands and Survey (VRG 18) and subsequently to the Minister of Soldier Settlement (VRG 18).
Under s.14 of the Act the Commission was empowered to appoint its own employees who were not subject to the provisions of the Public Service Act. However s.15 enabled the Commission to make use of the services of the officers of the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538). When this occurred, departmental expenses were recouped from the Soldier Settlement Account (see Annual Report 1966). Other statutory authorities, including the Housing Commission (VA 508), Country Roads Board (VA 722) and State Rivers and Water Supply Commission (VA 723) were empowered to undertake work for the Soldier Settlement Commission under s.11 (2) of the Soldier Settlement Act 1946.
In 1962 the Rural Finance and Settlement Commission (VA 2273) was established and assumed responsibility for the functions of the former Soldier Settlement Commission and the former Rural Finance Corporation (VA 2272). In 1977 the Rural Finance and Settlement Commission (VA 2273) became the Rural Finance Commission (VA 1073) with continued responsibility for the administration of soldier settlement legislation. In 1983 the Rural Finance Commission (VA 1073) became the responsibility of the Minister for Agriculture (VRG 34).
The Rural Finance Corporation was established on 1 July 1988 under the Rural Finance Act 1988 (No.44). The Corporation is the successor agency to the Rural Finance Commission (VA 1073) which operated with similar objectives between 1977 and 1988. It had as one of its functions the administration of the remaining purchase leases, mortgages, contracts of sale and other interests created under the Land Settlement Act 1959 (No.6534) and the Soldier Settlement Act 1958 (No.6373)