|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
Establishment and Functions
The Department of Minerals and Energy was formed on 1 September 1977 following the proclamation of the Minerals and Energy Act 1976. The Act provided for the amalgamation of the Ministry of Fuel and Power (VA 627) and the Mines Department (VA 612) into the Department of Minerals and Energy.
The Department of Minerals and Energy's main responsibility was to develop Government policy on the development and use of Victoria's minerals and energy resources, including brown coal, natural gas, oil, hydro-electricity and solar energy. It also was responsible for planning for the possible introduction of nuclear energy. It played a co-ordinating role in relation to the activities of the large fuel and power statutory authorities, namely the State Electricity Commission (VA 1002), the Gas and Fuel Corporation (VA 1040) and the Victorian Pipelines Commission, and oil and gas companies. It also regulated the mining, extractive, fuel and power industries and provided technical and scientific advisory services. The Department was responsible for the State's Geological Survey which investigates Victoria's geological structure, mineral wealth and underground water resources, and also for regulating the use of groundwater and dumping of toxic waste. It licensed mining and extractive activity and supervised the safeworking of mines, quarries, pipelines, on- and off-shore oil and petroleum installations, and related equipment.
In 1983 the Department passed responsibility for the Chief Chemists Group to the Department of Agriculture (VA 618). In 1984 responsibility for regulating the manufacture, transport and storage of hazardous materials such as explosives, inflammable liquids and toxic chemicals to the Ministry of Employment and Training (VA 704).
The Department also acted as an investigating agency for the Environment Protection Authority.
In 1985 the Department was superseded by the Department of Industry, Technology and Resources (VA 2661).
Location of Records
Few records have been transferred to the Public Record Office. See also List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, section 3.13.2.