Type of entity
Legal Status Text
Authorized form of name
Other form(s) of name
Dates of existence
A government printer was first appointed on February 1836 as a minor office within the Governor's establishment.
In 1870, Richard Pether was appointed Government Printer, as part of the newly established Government Printing Office (ref: Government Gazette, 2 August 1870).
Until 1901, the Government Printing Office was under the Colonial Secretary's Office and between 1901 and 1922 the office was under Treasury. When it became a sub-branch of the Premier's Department in 1920, the functions of the Government Lithography Department, including those of the government photographer, were amalgamated with the Government Printing Office (ref: "Amalgamation of Photo-Litho and Printing Departments", Premier's Department file 1919/0389, Record Series No. 36, Consignment 1496).
The position of Government Photographer, which was administered under the Premier's Department from within the Government Printing Office, was gazetted in 1929 (ref: Government Gazette, 26 July 1929, p. 1716). There were only ever two appointments; John Balmer, 1929-1961, and Ray Penrose, 1961-1985.
Following a functional review of the operations of the Government Printing Office in the 1980s, it re-emerged as the State Printing Division within the Department of Services in September 1986. In 1995 the operations were privatised although as part of the privatisation process, the Government retained a small part of the printing operation and established the State Law Publisher. The role of the State Law Publisher was to continue servicing the overnight document reproduction needs of Parliament, and for the publishing and dissemination of legislation and statutory information including publication of the Government Gazette.