|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
Establishment of the Division
From 1857 to 1983, the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538) was responsible for survey and mapping functions.
Further research is required to date with certainty the establishment of an administratively distinct entity responsible for survey and mapping functions within the Department. However, annual reports and staff lists indicate the existence of the Division by 1982. Certainly it appears to have operated as a distinct administrative unit from 1983 onwards within the Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands, (VA 1034) and continues to have done so after its transition to the Department of Property and Services in 1985 and subsequently to the Ministry for Finance (VA 3016) in January 1991. For this reason the Division's commencement date has been given as 1983.
Under the provisions of the Survey Co-ordination Act 1958 the Division is responsible for the co-ordination of all survey and mapping activities undertaken by government departments and statutory authorities.
Cadastral (Land Ownership) and Topographic Mapping
The Division is responsible for the conduct of cadastral surveys to establish property boundaries, the maintenance of parish plans recording allocation of property and the control and conduct of geodetic and trigonometric surveys which form the basis of all cadastral and topographic surveys.
The Division is the central government mapping agency providing cartographic services to both the government and the public.
Status of Crown Land
Responsibility for the maintenance of a Central Plan Register which records the status of all unalienated Crown land is also vested in the Division. The unit is also responsible for all Crown boundaries and for the provision of surveys and reports associated with the alienation (sale) and reservation of Crown land.
Central Plan Office and Vic Image
The Division administers the Central Plan Office, responsible for the maintenance and care of all maps and plans as well as the provision of access to these to the public through the sale of copies of maps, plans and photographs. The Division is also responsible for state aerial photography and photographic, microfilm and reproduction services to the government through the Central Photographic Laboratory and the Central Microfilm Bureau incorporated as VicImage in 1990.
Since 1985 the Division has maintained its own correspondence registry while general service records (accounts and personnel, etc.) were maintained by the Department of Property and Services to 1991 and subsequently by the Ministry of Finance (VA 3016).
Prior to 1985 the Division's correspondence records were maintained by the Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands (VA 1034) and formerly by the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538).
Location of Records
The Public Record Office has significant holdings of records of the Division of Survey and Mapping and its predecessors. See List of Holdings, 2nd Edition 1985 section 3.18.4 Surveyor General and 3.18.5 Surveyors Board for records related to the survey and mapping function in addition to the list below.