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Series VPRS 745
Advances Files - Northern Division
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1905 - 1982
  Series in Custody 1906 - 1940
  Contents 1906 - 1975
Public Access: Open
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1905 - 1933 Closer Settlement Board (previously known as Lands Purchase and Management Board 1905-1918) VA 2266
1933 - 1938 Closer Settlement Commission VA 2268
1938 - 1982 Department of Crown Lands and Survey VA 538
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
2002 - cont Department of Sustainability and Environment VA 4554
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Use the Search within a Series facility in Access the Collection to search on either file number, family name, parish name or land file number to find files of interest.

  • Function / Content
    This series consists of files created and maintained by officers of the Closer Settlement Branch of the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538) as a result of the advances schemes for settlers under both the Closer Settlement scheme (commencing from Part III of the Land Act 1898, followed by the Closer Settlement Act 1904) and the Soldier Settlement schemes (commencing from the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act 1917). The files provide evidence regarding the advance account holder and the land leased. Details given on the cover of the file are the names of the estate and the landholder, the location and area of the land leases and the date and term of the lease. Other details may include a summary of the advances made and the purpose (house, grading, wire netting or stock) and a summary of liens taken on produce and of payments. Other information may indicate that the settler had taken advantage of the farmers debt adjustment Act 1935, that the block had been enlarged to provide a living area or that revaluation had not occurred.

    Files in this series appear to have been those closed after the revaluations and reassessments of all closer and soldier settler debts in 1937.

    Other inclusions in the files may consist of correspondence between the settler and the Closer Settlement Board (VA 2266) or the Closer Settlement Commission (VA 2268), advances applications, for discharged soldier settlers the Qualification Certificate and associated papers, improvement reports made by Inspectors of Land Settlement, payment receipts, asset realisations and Board hearings, proceedings and decisions in relation to the advance account. Some of the files have 'deficiency case' stamped on the facing page. This appears to have been done when the decision was made that there was little or no possibility that the settler would be able to make repayments.

    Tenants on closer settlement or soldier settlement land lots were able to lease the land for at first a period of six years with residence and improvements conditions. These terms required the lessee to fence the land, destroy vermin and noxious weeds and some leases required the tenant to erect a dwelling on the land within one year. After six years, lessees could mortgage, transfer or sub-let their land. They could also apply for a Crown Grant to purchase the land if the balance of the purchase monies had been paid.

    Both the Closer Settlement Acts and the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act 1917 (and its successors) allowed for the payment of advances to settlers to allow for the erection of buildings, for fencing, for the purchase of implements and stock and for other defined purposes. The amount able to be obtained and the terms of repayment were set forth in the Acts with the Board (or Commission) able to take a lien or mortgage or other security to ensure repayment of the advance. Details of these may be found in VPRS 11922 Register of Securities, Discharged Soldiers Acts or in VPRS 11923 Register of Securities, Closer Settlement Acts.

    When closer settlement land was first selected like any Crown land, a selection file was created. Selection files are held in VPRS 5714 Closer [and Soldier] Settlement Files. If settlers applied for and were granted an advance, an advance file was created.

    The advance file records the closer settlement selection file number of the advance account holder. Conversely, if an advance file existed, the selection file will record the advance file number. The two files were maintained simultaneously as the selection file recorded information about the lease/licence of the land and the advance file recorded information specifically concerning advances made to lease/licence holders.

    Files in the P1 consignment were formerly held in VPRS 10381/P Soldier Settlement Advances Files from which they were removed during re-processing and re-listing of that series. These files are from the irrigable areas in the Shepparton area. State Rivers and Water Supply Commission was largely responsible for administration of the irrigable estates.

  • Recordkeeping System
    The series is listed roughly alphabetically by the account holders' surname. Other details given are the advances file number, the name of the parish, where easily obtainable, a land (or selection) file number and an identification (DSL) of the files of discharged soldier settlers. The soldier settlement files are distributed throughout the series. Series are arranged by areas of the State in which settlers were located. The Northern Division took in such Land Districts as Bendigo, Echuca and Kerang.

    The closer settlement advance files were originally arranged by a fractional file number system similar to the selection file numbering system. The denominator is the section of the Closer Settlement Act under which advances were granted and the numerator is the successive number in its class. For example, 2567/20 is the 2567th file created for advances made under Section 20 of the Closer Settlement Act. The files that recorded soldier settlement advances were arranged by a single file number sequence accompanied by the initials D.S. (for discharged soldiers) or D.S.L (discharged soldiers lease). Other advances files for soldier settlers might be found in VPRS 10381, Advances Files, Discharged Soldiers Settlement Acts. Later closer settlers (after c1925) files may also have a single number only.

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List/s of records in this seriesList/s of records in this series
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0000 1906 - 1975 Open 99
P0001 1911 - 1933 Open 2
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