The Department of Lands and Public Works was established in 1856. (1) The administration of lands oversaw the following offices - the Land Branch, Board of Works, Surveyor General, Chief Commissioner for Crown Lands, Commissioners for reporting Claims to Grants of Land, Commissioners of Crown Lands for the Gold Districts, Botanical Gardens and Domains, Inspectors of Diseased Sheep, Coal Fields and Coal Mines, Church and School Estates. (2)
The administration of public works took responsibility for railways, roads and electric telegraph; harbours and river navigation, the Civil Engineer (Dry Docks, Cockatoo Island) and the Colonial Architect’s Office. (3)
A Board of Works, comprising the heads of each section with the Secretary as Chairman, provided oversight in the calling of tenders and expenditure of Treasury funds on public works. (4)
On 30 September 1859 the Department was split into two agencies - a Department of Lands and a Department of Public Works. (5)
(1) NSW Government Gazette, Supplement, No.129, 26 August 1856, p.2286.
(2) NSW Public Service Lists, 1856, pp.526-580.
(3) Public Service List, 1856.
(5) NSW Government Gazette, Supplement, No.199, 30 September 1859, p.2167.