|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
Under the provisions of the Port of Melbourne Act 1978 (No.9178) the Melbourne Harbor Trust Commissioners (VA 2799) was reconstituted as the Port of Melbourne Authority from 8 November 1978. The reconstitution did not reflect a change in functions, but rather represented an attempt to follow modern practice with respect to the naming of organisations responsible for the operation of ports throughout the world.
Functions assumed from the Melbourne Harbor Trust Commissioners included:
Regulation of the trade of the port with respect to such matters as :
- landing or shipping of merchandise
- arrivals and departures of vessels
- wharfage rates
Management of port facilities such as wharves, piers, jetties, docks, ships, lights, buoys, beacons, moorings, tugs, workshops, water police, emergency services and land adjacent to the port's waterways.
Improvements to the Port including :
- widening and deepening the port's waterways
- construction and maintenance of wharfage accommodation, docks and other port facilities as mentioned above
- regular dredging operations
- control of noxious trades and deposits of refuse within the port boundary
Co-ordination of the above functions to ensure the efficient operation of all port activities.
In addition, the Port of Melbourne (World Trade Centre) Act 1978 (No.9221), which came into operation on 19 December 1978, vested the Port of Melbourne Authority with authority to construct, maintain and operate a World Trade Centre in the Port of Melbourne.
Development since 1978
A statutory body, the Port of Melbourne Authority was responsible to the Minister of Public Works (VRG 28) until 1 July 1983 when overall responsibility for maritime activities, including the functions of the Authority, was transferred to the Minister of Transport (VRG 49).
On 1 October 1986 the Ports and Harbours Division of the Ministry of Transport was integrated with Victoria's three port Authorities. Hence the Port of Melbourne Authority assumed responsibility for the administration and operation of all ports in eastern Victoria including : Port of Western Port, Port of Anderson's Inlet, Port of Corner Inlet and Port Albert, Port of Gippsland Lakes, Port of Snowy River, and Port of Mallacoota. In addition, responsibility was assumed for various port and marine related services, including:
- the maintenance and upgrading of navigational aids in all Victorian coastal waters
- oil pollution control in all Victorian coastal waters
- hydrographic surveying of Victorian ports and coastline
- beach renourishment, and the maintenance of recreational boating facilities provided by the Government, along Victoria's eastern coast.
Responsibility for port facilities and activities along Victoria's western coast are divided - between the Port of Portland Authority (VA 1427) and the Port of Geelong Authority (VA 1425).
In 1996, the Melbourne Port Corporation (VA 4837, MPC) assumed functional responsibilities from the Port of Melbourne Authority. The Melbourne Port Corporation (MPC) was established under the provisions of the Port Services Act 1995. It began operations on 1 March 1996. Portfolio responsibility rested with the Minister for Ports. However, on a range of matters affecting the Corporation, the Minister had joint responsibility with the Treasurer.
Location of Records
A substantial amount of records from this agency are in Public Record Office custody, see the list below.
For records of the predecessor to the Port of Melbourne Authority see also List of Holdings, 2nd edition 1985, section 3.21.16 (Melbourne Harbor Trust Commissioners).