- 1979 - 1981 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Paper files and documents
Name of creator
The Department was created by the Executive Council on 19 December 1972 (Public Service Board Minute 47 of 19 December 1972 notified in Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No 129, 19 December 1972). At its creation the Department of the Capital Territory wasresponsible for the administration of the Australian CapitalTerritory, the Jervis Bay Territory, Norfolk Island and the Coral Sea Islands Territory.
In a press release issued on 19 December 1972, it was stated that Labor Government policy desired that a single department should be identified with the administration of Canberra and the Australian Capital Territory. However two major administrative functions, city planning and the ACT police force were transferred from the Department of the Interior [II] (CA 31), the previous administrative agency, to other Departments -
Police Forces of the Australian Capital Territory went to the Attorney-General's Department (CA 5) and
National Capital Development Commission went to the Department of Urban and Regional Development (CA 1493).
Two other functions, education and health in the ACT remained outside the control of the Department of the Capital Territory.
The Department of the Capital Territory administered the following legislation at its creation:
Australian Capital Territory Electricity Supply Act 1962-1966
Coral Sea Islands Act 1969
Jervis Bay Territory Acceptance Act 1915-1955
Norfolk Island Act 1957-1969
Norfolk Island Ordinances Act 1957
Removal of Prisoners (Territories) Act 1923-1968 in relation to
prisoners sentenced in Norfolk Island
Seat of Government Acceptance Acts
Seat of Government Act 1908-1955
Seat of Government (Administraton) Acts
On 22 December 1975 a number of functions and acts relating to Norfolk Island and the Coral Sea Islands Territory were transferred from the Department of the Capital Territory to the Department of
Administrative Services [II] (CA 1964). In 1975, responsibility for the ACT police was passed from the Department of Police and Customs (CA 1862) to the Management Services Division of the Department of the Capital Territory, and responsiblity for the NCDC was inherited from the Department of Urban and Regional Department (CA 1493).
In the same year, the National Fitness function was transferred from the Department of Health, where it had been administered by the ACT Health Services Branch (CA 1305), to the Department. A Physical Recreation Sub-section was established within the Recreation Section, Recreation and Tourism Branch, City Manager's Office to plan, develop and conduct physical recreation activity programs for the ACT including those formerly administered under the National Fitness Act.
In 1976, the Department of the Capital Territory inherited the Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages and Land Titles from the Department of Business and Consumer Affairs (CA 1951).
In 1977, the Department of the Capital Territory transmitted
responsibility for the Ministerial/Passenger Fleet of Commonwealth Cars to the Department of Administrative Services [II] (CA 1964). This transfer resulted from a government decision to establish a central transport authority to co-ordinate the use of Commonwealth cars throughout Australia. In 1981, the Department of the Capital Territory inherited responsibility for the Parliament Act 1974 from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (CA 1401).
By 1980, the Department of the Capital Territory consisted of a City Manager's Office, and four Divisions: Legislation and Policy
Co-ordination, Lands, Transport and Housing and Management Services.
The City Manager's Office looked after city parks, gardens and sports-grounds, social controls, sanitation and waste disposal services, industrial safety, emergency services, rates, commercial practices, consumer protection, price and rent control, marketing, recreation, tourism, welfare services and welfare policy.
The Legislation and Policy Co-ordination Division attended to legislation, law reform, constitutional development, messages from the Minister for the Capital Territory to the ACT House of Assembly, liaison with the Minister's office, co-operative societies, agents, rating, taxing and budgetary policy, ACT planning and the cost implications of development, policy for land charging, the
implications of planning activities, the strategy for Canberra's growth, land titles and the registraton of births, deaths and marriages.
The Lands Division formulated land policies and managed land in the Australian Capital Territory and the Jervis Bay Territory. The Division managed and developed forest areas and conducted
conservation and agricultural services. In addition to the usual functions, the Management Services Division administered the Jervis Bay Territory.
The Transport and Housing Division managed public transport, motor traffic, motor vehicle registries, vehicle parking, government-owned housing (including sales and finance). It also formulated Transport and Traffic policy and government housing policy in relation to the Australian Capital Territory.
In September 1981, the Department rationalised its structure and operations by re-organising some of its functions. The housing branch was transferred to the City Manager's Office from the transport and housing division and the technical services branch (including the fuel control function) was transferred from the City Manger's Office to the transport and housing division. This division was renamed the transport and technical services division.
Under The Administrative Arrangements of 23 December 1981 the Department became responsible for the following new enactments:
Australian Capital Territory and Liquor Authority Act 1981
Commonwealth Functions (Statistics Review) Act 1981, Part II.
On 11 March 1983 the Department of the Capital Territory was renamed the Department of Territories and Local Government (CA 3499)
(Commonwealth Gazette, No S45 11 March 1983). The new Department took over the administration of the Territories from the Department of Home Affairs an Environment (CA 3068).
Ministers responsible for the Department of the Capital Territory were:
19 Oct 1972 - 9 Oct 1973 : Hon Keppel Earl Enderby
9 Oct 1973 - 18 Dec 1975 : Hon Gordon Munro Bryant (CP 106)
18 Dec 1975 - 16 Feb 1976 : Hon Eric Robinson
16 Feb 1976 - 19 Dec 1977 : Hon Anthony Staley (CP 233)
19 Dec 1977 - 3 Nov 1980 : Hon Robert Ellicott (CP 134)
3 Nov 1980 - 11 Mar 1983 : Hon William Michael Hodgman (CP 155)
Secretaries of the Department of the Capital Territory were:
20 Dec 1972 - 9 Jan 1973 : G GH W Smith (CP 319)
9 Jan 1973 - 19 Aug 1977 : L W B Engledow
19 Aug 1977 - 10 Aug 1981 : L Daniels
10 Aug 1981 - 11 Mar 1983 : A Blunn
- Commonwealth Gazette, No 129A, 19 December 1972, p 1
- Commonwealth Gazette, No 131, December 1972, p 3
- Commonwealth Government Directory 1980, p 89
Historical agency address
Electricity House, London Circuit, Canberra City
Creation: Executive Council Meeting No. (Public Service Board Minute No. 47) of 19 Dec. 1972
Abolition: Executive Council Meeting No. of 11 Mar 1983
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
ACT Government records that are more than 20 years old are generally available to the public. Some records may be withheld for privacy, legal or public safety reasons.
Conditions governing reproduction
Copyright of material contained on this site is owned by the Australian Capital Territory, except where noted. This work is licensed under the "Creative Commons Licence Attribution 4.0 International (CCBY 4.0)":https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Genre access points
Description control area
Rules and/or conventions used
Level of detail
Dates of creation revision deletion