Identity area

Reference code

AU WA S2167




  • 1970-01-01 - (Creation)

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Context area

Name of creator

AU WA A42 - DEPARTMENT OF LANDS AND SURVEYS (1890-01-01 - 1986-07-01)

Administrative history

The Department of Lands and Surveys was one of the oldest government agencies in Western Australia, having been constituted under the name of the Survey Office in 1829. The Office became the Surveyor-General's Department in 1870 and was organized into two branches - Crown Lands and Surveys. The Department was administered by the Surveyor-General who also held the title of Commissioner of Crown Lands.

The Department was restyled the Crown Lands and Surveys Department in 1873 and, in 1890, the Department of Land and Surveys.

The Department of Lands and Surveys was responsible for the leasing and alienation of Crown Lands (except where mining and forestry tenures were involved*), the reservation of land for public purposes and roads, the surveying and classifying of land, and the exploration and mapping of the State. From its inception, the Department was also active in promoting immigration and settlement, and until 1973 was responsible for administering various Assisted Passage Immigration Schemes.

Immigration remained one of the functions of the Department until 1986, and the Department was responsible for the administration of the Noalimba Reception Centre.

Following a functional review, the Department was reorganized and renamed the Department of Land Administration in 1986.

  • Initially, the Department was responsible for virtually all aspects of land administration, but with the establishment of the Department of Mines (1893) and the Forests Department (1919), it relinquished control of mining and forestry matters.

Name of creator

AU WA A43 - DEPARTMENT OF LAND ADMINISTRATION (1986-07-01 - 2003-07-01)

Administrative history

Following a functional review of the Department of Lands and Surveys, a new Department of Land Administration came into being on 1 July 1986. A new organization structure was implemented on 6 February 1987, which divided the Department into four major divisions: Land Operations, Land Titles, Mapping & Survey, and Corporate Services. Directors were appointed for each division and were accountable to an Executive Director. A Bunbury Regional Division, under the control of a manager, was also established to co-ordinate the Department's activities in the south-west region of the State.

In 1990 the Department of Land Administration established an integrated Land Information Program to provide development of the Western Australian Land Information System (WALIS) and access to the State's information about land.

On 1 July 2003, the Department of Land Administration was abolished and the functions of this organisation were split across two major departments. The Department of Land Information was formed to control the management of land titles, property valuation and land mapping. The management of Crown land and pastoral leases was passed to the Department of Planning and Infrastructure.

Archival history

Content and structure area

Scope and content

In 1970 a new referencing system for small scale public plans was introduced in Western Australia.

The system is based on the identification of Primary rectangles, each comprising 8x8 1:10,000 sheets. Each primary rectangle is identified by:

1. the geographic name of the primary rectangles (e.g. Perth);

2. the scale denominator (e.g. 1:2000);

3. the code reference to the primary rectangle (e.g. BG 34, for Perth primary rectangle).

4. the map sheet reference within the primary rectangle (e.g. 14.24).


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Finding aids

For a more detailed description of the referencing system please consult Volume 1 of the Catalogue of Cancelled Public Plans available at the State Records Office Search Room.

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Description control area

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Archivist's note

From May 1988 the Office of Titles has regularly sent to PRO a transparency of each plan when the item is about to be amended. The Office of Titles has also provided the PRO with an annotated copy of The Travellers Atlas of WA, & The Metropolitan Street Directory, with the sheet lines and Plan identifiers for maps in this series hand drawn throughout each book.
Copies: Copies of plans on aperture card are held by Landgate (Midland).

Accession area