Identity area

Reference code





  • 1905-01-01 - 1970-12-31 (Creation)

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Context area

Name of creator

AU WA A16 - DEPARTMENT OF MINES (1894-01-01 - 1992-07-01)

Administrative history

The Department of Mines began operations on 1 January 1894. Previously, the regulation of mineral exploration and mining activities in Western Australia had been the responsibility of the Colonial Secretary's Office and the Lands Department. Initially, the Department of Mines was controlled by the Commissioner of Crown Lands; the Department then consisted of a Secretary for Mines, a principal clerk, an assistant clerk, and a draftsman. Towards the end of 1894, the first Minister for Mines (E.H. Wittenoom) took over from the Commissioner as head of the Department. The Secretary for Mines became the Undersecretary for Mines and the Department's administrative and technical staff were increased. Mining districts were established and Mining Registrars and Mining Wardens appointed to the various mineral fields. Mining Registrars were responsible for recording mining claims. Mining Wardens, who were also resident or stipendiary magistrates, presided over the Mining Courts which were established in the major goldfields.

The Department started with five branches: Registration, Accounts Correspondence, Drafting, and Government Geologist (known after 1896 as the Geological Survey Branch). The Department maintained a mining museum in Perth and was responsible for the School of Mines at Kalgoorlie. (The School was established in 1902; in 1969 it became part of the Western Australia Institute of Technology).

Before being replaced by the Department and Minerals and Energy in 1992, the Department consisted of eight divisions: Geological Survey; Mining Engineering; Petroleum; Government Chemical Laboratories; Corporate Services; Explosives and Dangerous Goods; Mining Registration; and Surveys & Mapping. The executive comprised eight division Directors, two Assistant Directors General, and a Director General. The Minister for Minerals and Energy held responsibility for the Department. The Department's mandate was to encourage investment in, and the orderly development of, the State's mineral resources. Historically, the Department's mandate was based on several statutes, most notably the Goldfields Act of 1895 and the Mining Act of 1904.

The Department of Mines became the Department of Minerals and Energy on 1 July 1992. The organisation now operates as the Department of Industry and Resources.

Name of creator

AU WA A52 - DEPARTMENT OF INDUSTRIAL AFFAIRS (1983-11-08 - 1985-03-01)

Administrative history

The name of the Department of Labour and Industry was changed to the Department of Industrial Affairs on 8 November 1983. The new department was responsible for machinery and construction safety and factories and shops. It was also required to plan for the amalgamation of the Department with the Division of Occupational Health (Health Department) and to assist in the creation of the Commission, and later, Department of Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare.

Name of creator

AU WA A53 - DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR [2] (1920-01-01 - 1973-01-01)

Administrative history

The Department was established in 1920 with the appointment of a Commissioner for Labour. The portfolio of Minister for Labour was created in 1924 and in 1936 a Secretary for Labour was appointed and the Department became advisory bureau for all government departments (except Railways) in regard to industrial matters affecting government wages and employees.

Archival history

Content and structure area

Scope and content

General files relating to machinery safety. Includes design of machines, policy matters and history of the Branch. Includes information on boilers, Engine Driver's Certificates, cranes and hoists, locomotives, winding machines.


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Annual single number

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Description control area

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Archivist's note

Range Control Symbol = 30/05 - 66/70

Accession area