|Description of this GroupDescription of this Group|
Scope of Group
The Premier's Group is dated from 1874 when the head of government in Victoria was for the first time titled as Premier although a Premier's Office was not established until 1883 and the first commissioning of a Premier did not take place until 1936. To 1936 the Group includes the Ministerial portfolios of the Attorney-General, Treasurer, Chief Secretary, Solicitor-General and Minister of Water Supply. The group also includes the Minister for Federal Affairs 1975 to 1982. The prime agencies are the Premier's Office (VA 672), Department of the Premier (VA 2717) and the Department of the Premier and Cabinet (VA 1039).
Premier as a Commissioned Office
On 23 December 1936 the Premier became a commissioned Ministerial office with salary and separate portfolio responsibilities.
Between 1936 and 1982 the Premier also held the portfolio of Treasurer.
Relationship to Cabinet
Although the Premier has been responsible, since 1982, for the co-ordination of cabinet business through the Cabinet Office, located within the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, the Cabinet Office is currently registered as part of the Cabinet (VA 2989) which is within the scope of the Executive group (see VRG 17). See VRG 17 Executive for information about the structure and history of Government in Victoria.
In addition to the head of government role the Premier's portfolio has included a diverse range of functions. In quite a number of cases the Premier has been involved in the development or sponsorship of new initiatives which have subsequently transferred to other Ministers. In other cases the Premier has had administrative responsibility for agencies which were located in the Premier's Department but reported to another Minister. Examples include the Ministry for Fuel and Power (VA 627) and the Tourist Development Authority (VA 2918) which are included in both the Premier's Group and the Ministerial Group relating to the responsible Minister - in these examples they were the Minister for Fuel and Power (VRG 47) and the Minister for State Development and Decentralisation (VRG 51) respectively. The Premier has also been responsible for matters receiving priority attention by the Government, which have included policies relating to natural resources and the environment, urban and regional development, economic matters, labour and industry, industrial affairs and ethnic affairs. The Premier has also had responsibility for various Government and interdepartmental committees.
A Minister for Federal Affairs was commissioned in 1975. The portfolio was abolished in 1982. Although the Premier did not necessarily hold the Federal Affairs portfolio it has been included in the Premier's group because the Ministry of Federal Affairs was established as a division of the Department of the Premier (VA 2717) and has not been registered as a separate agency. Researchers seeking access to federal affairs material should see VA 2717.
Location of Records
Substantial holdings of the Department of the Premier (VA 2717) 1936 to 1982 and its predecessor the Premier's Office (VA 672) 1883 to 1936 have been transferred to the Public Record Office, as well as significant records from the Public Service Board (VA 886) and its predecessors, and the Audit Office (VA 1031). Records relating to the head of government function for the period 1855 to 1883 are included in those of the Chief Secretary (VA 475). For the period from 1874 to 1982, there may also be relevant records amongst those of the Treasurer's Department (VA 865).
See also List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, sections 3.16.5 (Chief Secretary), 3.17.0 (Premier), 3.22.1 (Treasurer).
Attorney-General 1874-1875 (see also VRG 19)
Treasurer 1875-1877 (see also VRG 23)
Chief Secretary 1877-1880 (see also VRG 26)
Chief Secretary and Treasurer 1880-1881
Attorney-General and Treasurer 1881-1883
Chief Secretary 1893-1894
Chief Secretary 1899-1900
Chief Secretary 1909-1912
Chief Secretary 1917-1918
Solicitor-General 1920-1920 (see also VRG 19)
Minister of Water Supply 1921-1924 (see also VRG 36)
Minister of Water Supply 1924-1927
Minister for Federal Affairs 1975-1982