Agency VA 552
Department of State Development (from 1972 also known as Department of State Development and Decentralisation)
About this Agency Records Related Functions Related Agencies
Date Range: 1971 - 1978
Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency

The Department of State Development was established in 1971 following the proclamation of the State Development Act 1970 (No.8081). Prior to 1971 the Premier's Department (VA 2717) had responsibility for state development, administration of the decentralisation of industry, tourism and national parks. The Chief Secretary's Department (VA 475) had been responsible for immigration.

The primary function of the department was to promote activities leading to the full and proper development of the State, decentralisation and industrial development.

Following a re-organisation in 1972 the Department was also known as the Department of State Development and Decentralisation.

Economic and Regional Development

Responsibilities in this area included the:

relocation of secondary industry to country areas through the provision of advisory services, initial financial assistance and continuing incentives and subsidies
establishment of new industries in rural areas
improvement of amenities in country areas through the granting of financial assistance to municipalities and other agencies.

The Department's regional development role included detailed investigation of the resources of each of thirteen regions; consideration of their developmental problems and prospects; co-ordination of regional studies of matters such as land use, primary production, tourism potential, water resources and wildlife preservation; and identification of localities for accelerated development.

These activities were undertaken in co-operation with representatives of regional communities and other interested parties such as trade unions.

In 1978 these functions were inherited by the Department of State Development, Decentralisation and Tourism (VA 2881).

National Parks and Environmental Protection

The Departments' environmental protection responsibilities included the management of all wastes entering the environment and the control of air, water and land pollution, excessive noises and litter, responsibility for which had previously been separately exercised by many government agencies. The Department was responsible for promoting and establishing National Parks, their control and maintenance. In 1973 the Ministry for Conservation (VA 551) assumed responsibility for both National Parks and environment protection issues.


In 1971 the Department undertook the role of department of state for the Tourism portfolio (VRG 59) when the Ministry of Tourism 1 (VA 2919) was abolished. These functions included:

encouraging the development of tourist attractions and facilities
promotion of tourism in the State
provision of tourist information and travel services
operation and administration of tourist bureaux
acquisition of property for tourism development.

For a brief account of the administration of tourism between 1888 and 1987 see VRG 91 Tourism III.


An Immigration Division was established within the Department of State Development assuming responsibility for immigration functions previously undertaken by the State Immigration Office (or Immigration Branch) located within the Chief Secretary's Department (VA 475).

The Division administered assisted immigration from the United Kingdom, involving the processing of three types of nominations:

personal nominations (later known as personal sponsorship) of British residents made by a resident of Victoria who may be a relative, friend or employer

group nominations (later known as employer sponsorship) usually made by commercial enterprises seeking to recruit particular categories of workers

State nominations (later known as State sponsorship) of British residents who were without personal or group sponsorship.

It also had responsibility for:

reception and assimilation of migrants
provision of migrant welfare services
liaison with and support of voluntary and community groups providing assistance to migrants
assisting in the investigation process of nominations under the Community Refugee Settlement Scheme

In June 1975 the responsibilities of the Division expanded to include the administration of nominations for unassisted immigration from the United Kingdom.

In February 1977 a Ministry of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (VA 1042) was established assuming responsibility for all immigration functions of the Immigration Division. Although responsible to a Minister of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, the Ministry continued to be administratively located within the Department of State Development and Decentralization (VA 552) until 1978. It was then located within the Department of State Development, Decentralization and Tourism (VA 2881), until 1981 when it gained full departmental independence.

Location of Records

Some records are held at the Public Record Office. See also List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, sections 3.13.4. (State Development and Decentralisation) and 3.10.2 (immigration records).

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Record series created by this AgencyRecord series created by this Agency
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Date Range Series Title Series Number Series Location Public Access
? 1952 - 1976 Name Index Cards for Company Files VPRS 7340 North Melbourne Open
? 1955 - ? 1973 Folders of Policy Statements, Conference Papers and Speech Notes VPRS 7328 North Melbourne Open
? 1960 - ? 1980 Files Relating to Staffing and Establishment VPRS 7307 North Melbourne Open
? 1972 - 1983 Decentralization Certificate Schedules VPRS 7329 North Melbourne Open
? 1975 - ? 1977 Position Files for Proposed New Offices VPRS 7320 North Melbourne Open
? 1977 - ? 1979 Central Administration Correspondence Files, Multiple Number Series (2) VPRS 7323 North Melbourne Part Open
1946 - 1983 Personal Nomination Files VPRS 5975 North Melbourne Closed
1946 - 1983 Central Card Index to Sponsors of Migrants VPRS 5981 North Melbourne Open
1946 - 1983 Card Index to Migrants VPRS 5982 North Melbourne Open
1947 - ? 1976 Shipping Nominal Rolls VPRS 5979 North Melbourne Open
1947 - ? 1979 Sponsor/Applicant Schedules VPRS 5978 North Melbourne Open
1947 - 1976 Group Nomination Files VPRS 5976 North Melbourne Closed
1952 - 1976 Correspondence and Company Files (Decentralization and Industrial Development) VPRS 7305 North Melbourne Part Open
1956 - 1976 List of Authorised File Classifications and Register of General Correspondence Files, Multiple Number System VPRS 12490 North Melbourne Open
1959 - ? 1981 Developmental Works Files VPRS 7322 North Melbourne Open
1971 - ? 1972 Records of Meetings and Inquiries Relating to Industrial Development. VPRS 7341 North Melbourne Open
1971 - 1978 Position Files VPRS 7309 North Melbourne Closed
1973 - 1973 List of Approved Decentralized Secondary Industries VPRS 7342 North Melbourne Open
1973 - 1973 Submission to National Population Inquiry VPRS 7344 North Melbourne Open
1974 - ? 1980 Agenda and Minutes of the Albury-Wodonga Development Corporation VPRS 7347 North Melbourne Closed
Functions for which this Agency has or has had primary responsibilityFunctions for which this Agency has or has had primary responsibility
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Date of Responsibility Function Title Function Number
1971 - 1977 Immigration (twentieth century) VF 138
1971 - 1978 Regional development VF 170
1971 - 1978 Tourism VF 189
Functions for which this Agency has or has had secondary responsibilityFunctions for which this Agency has or has had secondary responsibility
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Superior AgenciesSuperior Agencies
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Subordinate AgenciesSubordinate Agencies
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Date of Relationship Agency Title Agency Number
1976 - 1978 Small Business Development Corporation (trading from 1993 as Small Business Victoria) VA 1108
1977 - 1978 Ministry of Ethnic Affairs (also known as Ministry of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs 1977 to 1983) VA 1042
Related AgenciesRelated Agencies
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Date of Relationship Group Title Group Number
1971 - 1976 Immigration II VRG 90
1971 - 1978 State Development and Decentralisation VRG 51
1971 - 1978 Tourism I VRG 59
1976 - 1978 Immigration and Ethnic Affairs VRG 68