|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
Establishment and Local Government Functions
The Local Government Department developed from the Local Government Branch of the Public Works Department (VA 669). The Department was established in 1958 under the provisions of the Local Government Department Act (No.6479), inheriting all functions and duties relating to local government and the administration of the Act.
The Department of Local Government assists the Minister in relation to the:
approval of statutory procedures such as by-laws submitted by municipalities
review and amendment of legislation affecting local government
examination and review of municipal boundaries.
The Department provides consultancy and advisory services to local government bodies in relation to administrative, financial, electoral and legislative matters as well as entrepreneurial activities and joint ventures. It also has a monitoring role in relation to the operations of local government bodies and is empowered to conduct inquiries into complaints concerning local councils and officials.
The Department had an oversight role in relation to the building control activities of local councils. In 1985 this responsibility passed to the Ministry for Planning and Environment (VA 1024).
The Minister for Local Government was also responsible for the Town and Country Planning Board from 1958 until 1973 when the portfolio of Planning was established. However throughout this period, the Department itself did not take responsibility for the administration of the Town and Country Planning Acts as the Board reported directly to the Minister. The Department did however have some administrative involvement in planning between 1974 and 1976 when the Ministry of Planning (VA 600) operated as a sub-department of the Local Government Department, although it was responsible to the Minister of Planning (VRG 65).
In 1960 the valuation function passed from the Chief Secretary's Department (VA 475) to Local Government under the position of Chief Valuer, later Valuer-General. By 1969 a Valuer-General's Office had been established within the Local Government Department. In March 1985 substantial new administrative arrangements throughout the public service saw the Valuer-General's Office transferred to the Department of Property and Services (VA 430).
Weights and Measures
Regulation of weights and measures was also the responsibility of the Local Government Department from 1965 to 1985. It too was inherited from the Chief Secretary's Department (VA 475), and later passed to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs (VA 1026).
Services to Older Persons
Following the appointment of Maureen Lyster as Minister for Local Government and Minister for the Aged in 1989 the Older Persons Planning Office (VA 2997) was transferred from the Department of Community Services (VA 2633) to the Local Government Department to co-ordinate work in state agencies and to plan services and programs for older Victorians. The Office also supports the Older Persons Consultative Council, which assists in increasing community awareness of older person's issues, and consults with relevant organisations.
Abolition of the Department
In January 1991 the responsibility for the local government functions and services to older persons were transferred to the newly established Ministry of Ethnic, Municipal and Community Affairs (VA 3015).
Location of Records
Significant records are held by the Public Record Office. For records of local councils, see VRG 12 Municipalities.
See also List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, section 3.14.0.