Records Authority 2011/00553971

Department of Infrastructure and Transport
Islington Plan Room records transfer of custody

24 October 2011

This is an accurate reproduction of the authorised records authority content, created for accessibility purposes.


This authority gives the Department of Infrastructure and Transport (DIT) permission under the Archives Act 1983 to transfer the custody of its records stored at the Islington Plan Room to the Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure of the Government of South Australia (DTEI).

The records need to be removed to make way for redevelopment of the Islington site. DTEI will arrange for the records to be stored at the premises of State Records of South Australia (SRSA). The transfer will enable DTEI to manage a project to appraise, describe, arrange, and sentence the records in accordance with the policies, procedures and standards of SRSA or, where relevant, identify records which may be subject to different treatment. This project has the support of DIT and the National Archives of Australia.

The project is in anticipation of a transfer of ownership of the majority of the Plan Room records to DTEI, with records of significance to South Australia being cared for by SRSA.

Islington Plan Room records

The records known as the Islington Plan Room records comprise approximately 200,000 plans and drawings and associated records formerly owned by the Australian National Railways Commission. The records are housed within the Genesee & Wyoming (G&W) Islington Workshop complex at 320 Churchill Road, Kilburn, South Australia.

The records, which date from the 1850s  to 1997,  include material created by former South Australian railway authorities, Commonwealth Railways and the Australian National Railways Commission (later Australian National or AN).  The Australian National Railways Commission was established by the Australian Government in 1975, incorporating the Commonwealth Railways, the Tasmanian Government Railways and the non-urban railways of South Australia. 

A collection of plans and drawings was moved to Islington from the Adelaide Railway Station in the late 1970s. Prior to the sale of AN in 1997, plans from the former Commonwealth railway workshops at Port Augusta, South Australia, various Mechanical Division plan rooms and the ANR Head Office at Keswick, Adelaide, were relocated to Islington, together with any relevant control records.  Since that time, other collections that have come to light have been deposited at the Plan Room.

The Department of Infrastructure and Transport inherited the records when AN was privatised in 1997. Since that time, the scale and complexity of records at the Plan Room and the range of interests in the material have been obstacles to achieving satisfactory archival and disposal arrangements.


The Department of Infrastructure and Transport is to ensure that DTEI and its agents understand that no records are to be destroyed or otherwise disposed without the permission of the National Archives. This does not prevent sentencing or sorting the records according to whether they should be retained or destroyed.

Apart from the custody arrangements permitted by this authority, the Department of Infrastructure and Transport is to ensure that the records will be treated as if they were in the Department's custody, possession or control for the purposes of Commonwealth laws relating to records or information.

In some circumstances, it may be necessary to enter into contractual arrangements with the body taking custody of the records. The contract may include clauses to:

  • recover records at the completion of the contract, or at any other reasonable time;
  • ensure that the records are appropriately managed and maintained;
  • protect the security of the records;
  • ensure compliance with the provisions of the Privacy Act 1988;
  • prevent unauthorised disclosure of information;
  • provide for reasonable physical access to the records by the Commonwealth and its authorised agents;
  • facilitate official access or public access to records in the open access period under the Archives Act 1983;
  • limit the use of the records to legitimate purposes.

You should seek specific legal advice on these matters.

Conditions associated with this transfer of custody permission will cease to apply to records whose ownership is subsequently transferred.

Contact information

For assistance with this authority or for advice on other recordkeeping matters, please contact National Archives' Agency Service Centre.

Queen Victoria Terrace
Parkes ACT 2600

PO Box 7425
Canberra Mail Centre ACT 2610



Person to whom notice of authorisation is given:

The Secretary
Department of Infrastructure and Transport
111 Alinga Street
Canberra City, ACT 2601


Authorises arrangements for the transfer of custody of records in accordance with section 24(2)(b) of the Archives Act.


Islington Plan Room records.

This authority gives permission for the transfer of custody of the records described. This authority will apply only with the consent of the agency currently responsible for the business documented in the records described.

Signature of Margaret Chalker, Assistant Director-General, Government Information Management, National Archives of Australia, dated 24 October 2011

Margaret Chalker
Assistant Director-General
Government Information Management
National Archives of Australia


Islington Plan Room Records

Class no Description of records Disposal action

Commonwealth records located in the Plan Room at Islington Rail Workshops, Kilburn, South Australia at the date of issue of this authority.

Transfer custody to the Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure of the Government of South Australia.

See the Introduction for conditions.

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2018