The Secondary Industries Section of the Division of Reconstruction and Development (Premier’s Department) was established 1944/45 with the role of developing industries within New South Wales. (1)
The following year the Secondary Industries Section was absorbed by the newly created Secondary Industries Division (Department of Labour and Industry and Social Welfare) which also replaced the Bureau of Information and Development. (2)
The functions of the new division were to keep the Department informed about development and decentralisation of secondary industries, to provide information, advice and assistance to those contemplating the establishment of new industries or the expansion and technical development existing industries in NSW. The Section was responsible for the development and progressive implementation of various plans for industrial development, contact with overseas industries, negotiation for the establishment of factories in Australia, and movement towards the more rational and economic grouping of inter-related industries. The Division worked co-operatively with Commonwealth and other NSW agencies concerned with the development and decentralisation of secondary industries, and maintained contact with manufacturers for the purposes of information exchange, fostering expansion and efficiency, and encouraging maximum employment. (3)
During its first year the Division handled about 600 applications by companies seeking advice and assistance. Activities also included collaboration with the councils which were zoned new industrial areas and with the Housing Commission to synchronise industrial development with new housing programs. (4)
On 4 November, 1947 the Secondary Industries Division was transferred to the newly created Department of Building Materials in order to achieve co-ordination between industrial and housing development. (5) The role of the branch initially remained unchanged. Considerable advance was made towards decentralisation of industries in 1948/49. Attention turned to freight concessions for country industries and liaison with the Housing Commission ensured that industries and housing were developed in tandem. During the same year the Production and Secondary Industries Branches merged. (6)
On or about 20 August 1952 the Department of Secondary Industries and Building Materials was abolished. (7) The Secondary Industries Branch became the new Development Division of the Premier’s Department. (8)
By 1958 the Development Division was known as the 'Secondary Industries Division'. In this year it was amalgamated with the Regional Planning Davison of the Premier's Department and the new Division was entitles 'Division of Industrial Development'. This change followed and increasing overseas interest in investment and establishment of industries in New South Wales. (9) In order to cope with increasingly specialised requests for advice officers with professional qualifications in chemistry, textiles, electrical and mechanical engineering were added to the Division. The New South Wales Government Office in New York was also enlarged to cope with the increasing volume of work (10) The emphasis on decentralisation of industries led in 1960 to the appointment of two country investigating officers. (11)
On 19 March, 1962 the Division of Industrial Development was transferred to the Treasury. Two panels representing commerce and industry were constituted to advise the Government on matters affecting industrial promotion and decentralisation. The Division's technical staff was supplemented by personnel from the University of New South Wales and the Australian National University. (12)
On 1 February 1963 the Division became the Department of Industrial Development and Decentralisation. Initially this operated as a sub-Department to the Treasury (13)
(1) Report of the Public Service Board for 1944/45, Annual Report. 1945/46, v.1, p.574
(2) Report of the Public Service Board for 1945/46, Annual Report Appendix A p.18 and p. 28
(3) Loc. Cit p. 28.
(4) Report of the Public Service Board for 1946/47, Annual Report p. 46 .
(4) Report of the Public Service Board for 1946/47, A.R. 1947/48, v.1, p.1064
(5) State Archives Authority of NSW, Concise Guide, Industrial Development and Decentralisation, p. 26
(6) Report of the Public Service Board for 1948/49. p. 30,
(7) NSW Government Gazette 29 August, 1952 p. 3122.
(8) Report of the Public Service Board for 1952/53, p.26
(9) Report of the Public Service Board for the year ended 30 June, 1958 p. 22
(10) Report of the Public Service Board for the year ended 30 June, 1959 p. 41
(11) Report of the Public Service Board for the year ended 1960 p. 42
(12) Report of the Public Service Board for the year ended 1962 p. 7
(13) NSW Public Service Board Notices 23 January, 1963 p. 3