|Description of this GroupDescription of this Group|
In 1983 a Minister for Conservation, Forests and Lands was appointed reflecting the Government's intention to consolidate all public land management functions. The new portfolio superseded the separate portfolios of Conservation (VRG 55), Forests (VRG 41) and Lands (VRG 18) in order to better co-ordinate the use of all land related resources, to rationalise the many different authorities and regional land management systems, and to properly integrate public land use and management with conservation requirements.
In April 1990 all the remaining functions and responsibilities of the Minister for Conservation, Forests and Lands were transferred to the newly appointed Minister for Conservation and Environment (VRG 94).
Relationship to the Planning and Environment Portfolio
The Minister for Conservation, Forests and Lands shared responsibility for certain aspects of the Government's environment protection and conservation functions with the Minister for Planning and Environment (VRG 65). The line of demarcation which existed between the responsibilities of the two portfolios is not entirely clear and further research is required in this area.
The Minister for Planning and Environment, through the planning process and regulatory agencies such as the Environment Protection Authority, was responsible for the prevention and control of environmentally harmful emissions of pollutants into the air, soil and water while the responsibilities of the Minister of Conservation, Forests and Lands covered the protection and conservation of the State's natural resources through the management of public land and the protection of native flora and fauna and their environments.
However, there were areas of overlap:
The Minister for Planning and Environment (VRG 65) developed and implemented the State Conservation Strategy which the Minister of Conservation, Forests and Lands in part implemented
management of coastal land was a joint responsibility which was organised through joint representation on the Coastal Management Committee
both portfolios were concerned with the management of historic/cultural sites on public land
the Land Conservation Council reported to the Minister for Planning and Environment (VRG 65) on public land use, but also advised on soil conservation matters and land use policy in water supply catchment areas, thus making reports and recommendations which affected the working of both portfolios.
Location of Records
Only a small amount of more recent records from the portfolio have been transferred to the Public Record Office, however earlier records are held. See the List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, section 3.6.0 (Conservation, Forests and Lands) and the Inventory of Series in this guide for VA 1034 Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands.
Minister for Conservation, Forests and Lands 1983-1990