Group VRG 21
Postmaster General
About this Group Related Agencies Related Functions
Date Range: 1851 - 1901
Description of this GroupDescription of this Group
Formation and Functions

In 1851 the Postmaster General (Chief Postmaster) assumed responsibility for postal services from the Superintendent of the Port Phillip District (VRG 11). Between 1856 and 1857 responsibility for post offices was exercised by the Treasurer (VRG 23).

The prime functions associated with this portfolio were:

Post Offices including the Post Office Savings Bank
Mail Services
Telegraph Services (from 1854)
Telephone Services (from 1887; prior to that date telephones were operated by a company, having been introduced into Victoria in 1878).

For a brief period in the early 1860's, the Postmaster General was also responsible for the regulation and development of mining in Victoria. For more information about this function see VRG 30 Mines.

In the 1890's the Postmaster General became responsible for implementing certain provisions of the Electric Light and Power Act. This function was transferred to the Minister of Public Works (VRG 28) in 1901. For more information see VRG 28 Public Works and VRG 47 Minerals and Energy.

After Federation in 1901, the Commonwealth Government (VRG 87) became responsible for all post, telegraph and telephone services.

Location of Records

Few relevant records are held by the Public Record Office. Many records are presumed to have passed to the Commonwealth and some have subsequently been transferred to the Australian Archives.

See List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, section 16.2.0.


Postmaster-General 1851-1901
Treasurer 1856-1857

Other InformationOther Information
Agencies within this GroupAgencies within this Group
Display entries per page
Date within Group Agency Title Agency Number Agency Hierarchy
1851 - 1901 Postmaster General's Department VA 2872 Dept. of State
1861 - 1863 Department of Mines (also known as the Mining Department) VA 2719 Sub Department
Functions related to this GroupFunctions related to this Group
Display entries per page
Date within Group Function Title Function Number
1851 - 1901 Postal services VF 12
1861 - 1863 Mining VF 62
- 1901 Electric light and power VF 47
- 1901 Telephone and telegraph services VF 268