|Description of this GroupDescription of this Group|
Appointment and Responsibilities
In 1987 a Minister for Tourism was appointed and assumed responsibility for tourism from the Minister for Industry, Technology and Resources (VRG 82).
The Minister is responsible for the:
promotion of tourism
development of tourist facilities including the acquisition of property and the provision of financial assistance to individuals, government and non government agencies
provision of information and travel services
management of state owned tourist facilities.
A Brief Account of Tourism Administration from 1888 to 1970
The administration of tourism functions in Victoria developed within the Victorian Railways (VA 2876) with the appointment of a Railways Inquiry Officer to provide information for visitors to the Melbourne International Centennial Exhibition in 1888. Consequently an Inquiry Office providing railway information was established at Flinders Street Station.
Victorian Government Tourist Bureaux
In 1908 the Inquiry Office was expanded and renamed the Victorian Government Tourist Bureau. Around 1939 bureaux were established in regional areas of the state and interstate.
The Tourist Bureaux were administered and staffed by the Victorian Railways (VA 2876) which also operated Mount Buffalo Chalet, a state-owned tourist resort.
The Bureaux undertook to provide general travel and tourist information including railroad and motor timetables, as well as placing rail, air, ship and accommodation bookings, and providing special tour itineraries.
Development of Tourist Resorts and Facilities
Under the provisions of the Tourists' Resorts Act 1922 (No.3238) the Tourists' Resorts Committee was established. In conjunction with government departments and public authorities this advisory committee was responsible for improving and creating tourist resorts, facilities and roads. This included work carried out through the Public Works Department (VA 669) such as access roads to tourist resorts or attractions, walkers tracks, amenities blocks, picnic areas and minor camping grounds.
Further research is required to establish which Minister was responsible for the Committee from 1922 to 1938. From 1938 until its abolition in 1958 the Commissioner for Public Works (VRG 28) was responsible for the Committee.
In 1936 under the Country Roads (Tourists' Roads) Act (No.4405) the Committee's responsibility for the permanent works, permanent improvements and maintenance of tourists' roads was transferred to the Country Roads Board (VA 722). After this date tourists' roads were to be proclaimed by the Governor-in-Council on the recommendation of the Country Roads Board (VA 722) but tourists' roads proclaimed under previous legislation before 1936 were also to be the responsibility of the Country Roads Board. In 1983 the legislation providing for this function was repealed.
In 1938 a "Tourists' Resorts Fund" was established under the provisions of the Tourists' Resorts Development Act (No. 4609) to be administered by the Commissioner of Public Works (VRG 28) on the advice of the Tourists' Resorts Committee. The fund was established to provide subsidies and grants to public authorities for the establishment, construction, development and improvement of tourist resort areas, facilities and roads.
Responsibility for tourist resorts was transferred to the Minister for State Development (VRG 51) in 1958 when the Committee ceased operation and the Tourist Development Authority (VA 2918) was established.
Tourist Development Authority (VA 2918) 1958-1970
In 1958 the Tourist Development Authority (VA 2918) was created with responsibility for promoting tourist development and publicising the State's tourist attractions (Tourist Act 1957 (No.6155)). The Authority took over the works functions previously administered by the Tourist Resorts Committee.
In order to fully centralise the promotion of Victorian tourism, the control and operation of the Victorian Government Tourist Bureaux was transferred from the Victorian Railways Commissioners (VA 2876) to the Authority in April 1959 by virtue of the Tourist (Amendment) Act (No.6467) of December 1958.
The financial basis of the transfer was that the Railways Commissioners (VA 2876) undertook, in return for the maintenance of general railway information and booking services, to pay two-thirds of the cost of operating the Bureaux. Many railway staff operating the Bureaux transferred to the Public Service.
The Authority also administered the "Tourist Fund" established under the Act for the development and improvement of tourist facilities.
The Country Roads Board (VA 722) continued to proclaim, construct, maintain and improve tourist roads until 1983 when the legislation providing for this function was repealed.
Although the Minister of State Development (VRG 51) was responsible for the administration of the Tourist Act (No. 6395) and the Tourist Development Authority (VA 2918), the Authority functioned administratively within the Premier's Department (VA 2717) which until 1971 functioned as the department of state for the State Development and Decentralisation portfolio (VRG 51). The Secretary of the Premier's Department (VA 2717) was made the first Chairman of the Authority.
Administrative Changes Between 1970 and 1987
For various reasons, during the 1970's and early 1980's the Government experienced a period of rapid and, in many instances, fundamental change in policies, structure, functions, composition, and operation. As government policies developed, existing functions changed and new functions emerged, reflecting a new perception of the areas in which State Government involvement was essential or appropriate.
Administrative arrangements and ministerial responsibility for the tourism function were altered frequently in this period. What follows is a brief outline of the changes made in this area between 1970 and 1987.
Ministry of Tourism (I) (VA 2879) 1970-1971
In 1970 under the provisions of the Tourist Act 1969 (No.7930), proclaimed on 8 February 1970, a Minister for Tourism (VRG 59) was appointed. Under the new legislation the Tourist Development Authority (VA 2918) was abolished and its responsibilities and functions were transferred to the newly established Ministry of Tourism (VA 2919).
The functions of the Ministry were the promotion of tourism in Victoria, encouraging and assisting the development of tourist attractions and facilities, and providing an advisory service to travellers through the management of the Victorian Government Tourist Bureaux.
Department of State Development and Decentralisation (VA 552) 1971-1978
In 1971 the Ministry was abolished and its functions were inherited by the Division of Tourism, Department of State Development (VA 552) under the provisions of the State Development Act (No.8081) proclaimed on 15 March 1971.
The Department, later the Department of State Development and Decentralisation, was responsible for the development of the State's economic resources and industry generally. For this purpose four main activities, National Parks, Tourism, Industrial Development and Immigration were centrally grouped under its control.
The Department reported to the Minister for Tourism (VRG 59) in the administration of tourism functions, however the Minister for Tourism and the Minister for State Development (VRG 51) were until 1978 the same person.
The tourism functions administered by the Department included:
encouraging the development of tourist attractions and facilities through the allocation of funds and subsidies
the promotion of tourism in the State
the provision of tourist information and travel services
the operation and management of the Victorian Government Tourist Bureaux
the acquisition of property for tourism development.
Regional Tourist Authorities
From 1975, in accordance with the Government's policy of decentralisation, the Department of State Development and Decentralisation undertook the function of assisting in the development of Regional Tourist Authorities.
These Authorities, established by Orders-in-Council and made pursuant to local and personal Acts incorporated a number of communities co-operating in a single tourist entity producing tourist literature, providing a local information service and generally fostering tourism in their area.
The Department (VA 552) provided financial assistance through subsidies and general guidance and co-ordination through its Regional Tourism Scheme.
Department of State Development, Decentralisation and Tourism (VA 2881) 1978-1981
In May 1978 the State Development, Decentralisation and Tourism Act (No.9126) abolished the Department of State Development and Decentralisation (VA 552) and established the Department of State Development, Decentralisation and Tourism (VA 2881) in its place. A Minister for State Development, Decentralisation and Tourism was appointed (VRG 70).
The Department was established for the purpose of encouraging and promoting the development of Victoria. The Act provided for the broadening of the previous Department's (VA 552) range of activities to include the promotion of the export capacity of industry and commerce and the promotion of economic development. (See also VA 1109 Victorian Economic Development Corporation, VA 2920 Victoria Promotion Committee.)
Tourism functions administered by the Division of Tourism within the Department (VA 2881) included:
developing and promoting the tourist industry in Victoria
establishing and improving tourist facilities in Victoria
assisting and co-ordinating the activities of persons and organisations interested in the development of the tourist industry in Victoria
supporting publicity and research assisting any of the above.
The promotion and improvement of tourist facilities was facilitated through the Department's allocation of subsidies and loans from the Tourist Fund to local municipalities and government and semi-government bodies.
From Tourist Bureaux to Victorian Government Travel Authority
Under the authority contained in the State Development Act (No.8081) the Department (VA 2881) operated and administered the five Victorian Government Tourist Bureaux in Victoria and those located in Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane. This legislation was repelled on 23 May 1978 and was replaced with the State Development, Decentralisation and Tourism Act 1978 (No.9126). Although there was no specific power in this Act to operate tourist bureaux, the Department (VA 2881) continued tourist bureaux operations, under the general powers of the Minister, pursuant to section 7 of the 1978 Act.
However on 1 July 1978 the Victorian Government Travel Authority (VA 2990) commenced operation with responsibility for the management of the tourist bureaux under the powers contained in the Victorian Government Travel Authority Act 1977 (No.9083).
The Authority also operated the Metropolitan Transport Information Centre which provided information on all country and metropolitan transport.
During 1979 responsibility for the general publicity and promotion of tourist facilities and attractions in Victoria was transferred from the Department of State Development, Decentralisation and Tourism (VA 2881) to the Authority (VA 2990).
Ministry for Economic Development (VA 2880) March 1981 - July 1981
The Ministry for Economic Development (VA 2880) was established under the provisions of the Economic Development Act 1981 (No.9567) and was deemed to have been operative from March 1981. During the period 1981 to 1983 many changes were made in the administration of functions associated with economic and regional development and tourism. During the first half of 1981, the Ministry for Economic Development gradually assumed responsibility for functions previously administered by the Department of State Development, Decentralisation and Tourism (VA 2881), though this agency was not formally abolished until July 1981.
Thus for a brief period in 1981, prior to the establishment of the Ministry of Tourism (II) (VA 2879) on 22 July 1981, the Ministry for Economic Development was responsible for all aspects of the promotion and development of tourism in Victoria.
For this period that the Ministry for Economic Development reported to the Minister for Tourism (II) (VRG 89) in the administration of these duties. However the positions of Minister for Economic Development and that of Minister for Tourism were held by the same person until December 1982.
The Ministry was empowered under the Act to carry out these functions in conjunction with the Victorian Government Travel Authority (VA 2990) which continued as a statutory authority responsible to the Ministry for Tourism (VRG 89).
Ministry for Tourism (II) 1981-1983 (VA 2879)
The Ministry for Tourism (II) (VA 2879) was established by Order-in-Council effective from 22 July 1981 and assumed responsibility for the tourism functions previously undertaken by the Ministry for Economic Development (VA 2880).
The functions of the Ministry were, in conjunction with the Victorian Government Travel Authority (VA 2990), to develop and promote the tourist industry in Victoria with particular regard to establishing and improving tourist facilities.
In December 1982 the Tourism (II) portfolio (VRG 89) was abolished and its responsibilities were resumed by the Minister for Economic Development (VRG 71).
The Ministry for Tourism (II) (VA 2879) continued until mid 1983 when its functions were transferred to the newly established Victorian Tourism Commission (VA 2871).
Victorian Tourism Commission (VA 2871) 1983-ct
The Victorian Tourism Commission was established under the Victorian Tourism Commission Act 1982 (No.9834) on 11 May 1983. The Commission is successor to the Ministry for Tourism (II) (VA 2879) and the Victorian Government Travel Authority (VA 2990).
Its main functions are to market Victoria as a tourist destination and to increase the volume of travellers. The Commission also handles all Government travel bookings and operates branch offices in other states.
Further research is required to adequately document the Commission's functions between 1983 and the present.
The Regional Tourist Authority Scheme appears to have ceased by around 1986-87 but further research is required in this area.
Between 1983 and 1989 the Ministers responsible for Tourism have been:
VRG 71 Minister for Economic Development 1983-1983
VRG 77 Minister for Industry, Commerce and Technology 1983-1985
VRG 82 Minister for Industry, Technology and Resources 1985-1987
VRG 91 Minister for Tourism (III) 1987-ct.
Location of Records
For records relating to tourism functions for the period 1888 to 1958 see List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, section 3.17.1 (Premier), 3.19.0 (Public Works records) and 3.21.0 (Transport records). Only a few records have as yet been transferred to the Public Record Office from the central tourism agencies (See VA 2919 Ministry of Tourism (I) and VA 2918 Tourist Development Authority). However records relating to tourism may be found in the records of the departments which have at various times been responsible for this function -see List of Holdings section 3.13.4.