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Formation and Functions
In 1851 the Postmaster General (Chief Postmaster) assumed responsibility for postal services from the Superintendent of the Port Phillip District (VRG 11). Between 1856 and 1857 responsibility for post offices was exercised by the Treasurer (VRG 23).
The prime functions associated with this portfolio were:
Post Offices including the Post Office Savings Bank
Telegraph Services (from 1854)
Telephone Services (from 1887; prior to that date telephones were operated by a company, having been introduced into Victoria in 1878).
For a brief period in the early 1860's, the Postmaster General was also responsible for the regulation and development of mining in Victoria. For more information about this function see VRG 30 Mines.
In the 1890's the Postmaster General became responsible for implementing certain provisions of the Electric Light and Power Act. This function was transferred to the Minister of Public Works (VRG 28) in 1901. For more information see VRG 28 Public Works and VRG 47 Minerals and Energy.
After Federation in 1901, the Commonwealth Government (VRG 87) became responsible for all post, telegraph and telephone services.
Location of Records
Few relevant records are held by the Public Record Office. Many records are presumed to have passed to the Commonwealth and some have subsequently been transferred to the Australian Archives.
See List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, section 16.2.0.