|Description of this GroupDescription of this Group|
Appointment of Minister for Water Resources
In 1984 a Minister for Water Resources was appointed. Until this time water resource management in Victoria had traditionally been divided between authorities responsible for the Melbourne and Metropolitan area and those responsible for rural Victoria. A primary responsibility of the Minister for Water Resources was to ensure greater co-ordination and more efficient management, development and use of the water resources of the State.
Background to Appointment
From the mid-1970's there were moves to provide better co-ordination of water resources management statewide. In 1975 the Water Resources Act established a Ministry of Water Resources and Water Supply (VA 641), responsible for conserving and managing Victoria's water resources, and promoting the extension and development of sewerage and drainage throughout the State. The Ministry comprised the Minister of Water Supply, a Water Resources Council to advise the Minister and the Director of Water Resources. The Director and his/her staff essentially acted as a secretariat for the Council. Although the aim of the legislation was to provide a central co-ordinating body for the management of water resources state wide, the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission (VA 723) and the Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (VA 1007) continued to operate much as before with no real change in powers, responsibilities or functions and the Commission's Chairman was designated permanent head of the new Ministry.
In 1980-82 a review was undertaken by the Public Bodies Review Committee of Victoria's non-metropolitan water supply industry. It addressed the geographical and functional fragmentation of the water industry and the need to develop an integrated system. Its recommendations, foreshadowed in early 1984 by the Director of Water Resources being appointed permanent head of the Ministry of Water Resources and Water Supply, and the Ministry assuming from the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission responsibility for oversighting local water and sewerage authorities, resulted at the end of 1984 in a major restructuring with the abolition of the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission, the creation of the Department of Water Resources (VA 2354) and Rural Water Commission (VA 2338), and the appointment of a new Minister for Water Resources under the 1984 Water (Central Management Restructuring) Act.
The major functions associated with this portfolio include:
the provision of water and water related services for irrigation, domestic and stock uses and for commercial, industrial, recreational and environmental purposes within rural Victoria and the Melbourne Metropolitan area
the development of public education programmes to encourage the more efficient management and use of the State's water resources
supervision and co-ordination of the various local water and sewerage authorities
the design, construction and maintenance of installations and facilities necessary for the provision of water, sewerage and irrigation services.
See also VRG 33 Water and Sewerage Authorities.
In April 1990 the Government announced the appointment of a new Minister for Conservation and Environment who inherited all the responsibilities of the Minister for Conservation, Forests and Lands (VRG 75), the responsibilities of the Minister for Water Resources (VRG 84) and most of the "heritage and environment" responsibilities of the Minister for Planning and Environment (VRG 65). The creation of this portfolio was to reflect the Government's intention to further integrate natural resource management.
Location of Records
The Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (VA 1007) is the only agency in this Group which has transferred records to the Public Record Office - see List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, section 3.23.3.
Minister for Water Resources 1984-1990