- 1852-03-10 - 1900-12-31 (Creation)
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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.