|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
Following significant machinery of government changes after the election of the first Kennett Government in October 1992, the Department of Energy and Minerals was established by amendment of Schedule Two of the Public Service Act 1974. This was published in the Victorian Government Gazette No. S 53 on 9 October 1992.
The Department of Energy and Minerals assumed responsibility for all functions from the previous Resources Division of the Department of Manufacturing and Industry Development (VA 3012). It was responsible for the development of Victoria's energy and mineral resources and the regulation of exploration and mining operations throughout the State. The Department reported to the Minister for Energy and Minerals.
The Department provided advice to the Government on the operations of a number of Statutory Authorities, Boards and Public Utilities. These included the State Electricity Commission of Victoria (SECV; VA 1002), Gas and Fuel Corporation of Victoria (GFCV; VA 1040), Coal Corporation of Victoria (CCV; VA 2630), Renewable Energy Authority of Victoria (REAV; VA 3117), Extractive Industries Board, Mine Managers' Board and Office of the Mining Warden. The Department acted as a liaison between the statutory authorities in their dealings with the Government and other departments.
Structure of Department
Key responsibilities of the Energy Division included the technical regulation of onshore and offshore petroleum exploration, including the design, construction and maintenance of offshore platforms and onshore gas and petroleum product pipelines. It also developed policies relating use of energy in Victoria and liaised with the Federal Government about national energy policies and their impact on Victoria.
The mission of the Minerals Division was to facilitate the exploration and development of the State's mineral wealth. The Group was responsible for the administration of the Mineral Resources Development Act 1990 which involved:
* ensuring exploration, development and mining operations were conducted in a safe manner (Mining Inspectorate)
* administration of mining titles (Mining Tenements);
* ensuring that mining activity was undertaken in an environmentally responsible manner (Environmental Unit); and
* the collection, storage and dissemination of earth science information for the whole of Victoria (Geological Survey)
The Minerals Group also administered the Extractive Industries Act 1966 which involved the monitoring and control of exploration and extraction of construction materials such as sand, stone and clay.
The Department of Energy and Minerals was abolished under amendment to Schedule One of the Public Sector Management Act 1992. The amendment removed the Department of Energy and Minerals from Schedule One and replaced it with the Department of Agriculture, Energy and Minerals (VA 3744). The change was published in the Government Gazette Special No. 11 (S11) on 1 February 1995. The same gazette also published the transfer of all Acts from the Department of Energy and Minerals and the Department of Agriculture (VA 2649) to the Department of Agriculture, Energy and Minerals, under Administrative Arrangements Order No. 143.