Administration of the Australian Capital Territory – Fact sheet 35

The Federal Capital Territory (the Australian Capital Territory since 1938) has been administered by a succession of Commonwealth agencies, with different areas of administration often being the responsibility of separate agencies, or branches within the one agency. The tables below outline the agencies responsible for various functions.

Agencies with core administrative responsibility

Agency

Dates

Functions

Department of Home Affairs [I] (CA 8)

1901–16

Federal Capital, works

Public Works Branch (CA 783)

1904–17

Public works

Lands and Surveys Branch, Canberra (CA 745)

1911–25

Surveying

Lands and Survey Branch (CA 737)

1911–32

Surveying

Works Branch, Federal Capital Territory (CA 758)

1912–25

Works

Federal Capital Territory Administrative Offices (CA 741)

1912–16

Administration

Department of Works and Railways (CA 14)

1916–32

Construction

Department of Home and Territories (CA 15)

1916–28

Seat of Government

Department of Home Affairs [I] (CA 24)

1928–32

Administration

Federal Capital Territory Branch, Department of Home Affairs [II] (CA 756)

1930–32

Works

Department of the Interior [I] (CA 27)

1932–39

Administration

Civic Administration Branch (CA 757)

1932–51

Administration

Property and Survey Branch (CA 738)

1932–51

Surveying

Canberra Service Branch (CA 1197)

1938–51

Works

Department of the Interior [II] (CA 31)

1939–72

Administration

ACT Services Branch, Department of the Interior [II] (CA 1198)

1951–64

Works

Agencies with an advisory role

Agency

Dates

Functions

Federal Capital Office (CA 601)

1913–21

Design of Canberra

Federal Capital Advisory Committee (CA 292)

1921–25

Construction

Federal Capital Commission (CA 226)

1925–30

Land, construction

ACT Advisory Council (CA 491)

1930–74

Development, legislation

Agencies responsible for urban planning and development

Agency

Dates

Functions

National Capital Planning and Development Committee (CA 383)

1938–57

Urban development

ACT Planning and Development Branch (CA 861)

1951–57

Urban development

National Capital Development Commission (CA 279)

1957–89

Planning, development, construction

Other agencies

Agency

Dates

Functions

Royal Commission on Federal Capital Administration (CA 2252)

1916–17

Problems with design and administration

Canberra National Memorials Committee (CA 384)

1928–

Memorials, street names

House of Representatives Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories (CA 712)

1956–

Canberra plan variations

For more information

Other fact sheets available on the ACT are:

An Ideal City? – The 1912 Competition to Design Canberra shows the plans for Canberra and those of shortlisted competitors.

Records transferred to the ACT government

Following ACT self-government in 1989, many ACT administrative records were passed to the control and custody of the ACT government. In most cases this is indicated by a notation in the Archives' database. For information about, and access to the records in the custody of the ACT government contact Archives ACT.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2014