State Records Authority of New South Wales
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The first Colonial Treasurer, William Balcombe, was appointed by Earl Bathurst under his Majesty's Commission. Balcombe arrived in the colony on 5 April 1824, his appointment was gazetted on 6 May 1824 and from 27 May payments were made through the Colonial Treasurer's Office. (1) Before the appointment of the Treasurer, the colony's finances were administered by the Commissary, the Treasurer of the Police Fund, the Land Office and the Treasurer of the Orphan Fund. Between 1827 and 1836 revenue, except that from customs duties and court fees, was collected by the Collector of Internal Revenue. This office subsequently became the Revenue Branch of the Treasury.

The Treasurer's initial concern with the actual collection and disbursement of revenue meant that he had close relations with all departments through which revenue was collected including the Lands Department, Customs Department, Post Office, Chief Inspector of Distilleries and Harbour Master. The Treasurer was thus responsible for collecting fees payable for many licenses, such as Publican's Licenses and Depasturing Licenses. (2)

After responsible government the Treasurer became increasingly important as the manager of the State's fiscal policy. The Treasurer was responsible for the preparation of the estimates, the administration of government funds and the control of accounts, his office was in close contact with all other departments, particularly those offices under his ministerial control such as the Quarantine Department (1859-84) and the Imperial Pensions Office (1873-94). (3)

In April 1983 the Department of Finance was established to administer acts relating to stamp duties, pay-roll tax, land tax, business franchise licenses, charities, lotteries and art unions and to review and co-ordinate State taxation policies. To enable it to perform its functions, a number of branches and offices attached to the Treasury were transferred to the new Department. These included the Poker Machine, Charities Administration, and Business Franchise Licenses Branches and Stamp Duties, Pay-roll Tax and Land Tax Offices. (4)

On 31 March 1988, the Department of Finance was abolished and all programs for which it was responsible were transferred to the Treasury. (5) Following this re-amalgamation two units were established in the Treasury - the Office of Financial Management and the Office of State Revenue.

The Office of Financial Management advises Government generally on the growth and development of the New South Wales economy and, within established priorities, promotes the efficient and effective management of resources in the public sector part of the economy. The Office of State Revenue is responsible for developing policy and implementing legislation relating to Stamp Duties, Pay-roll Tax, Land Tax, and Business Franchise Licences Fees. In addition, the Office collects revenue for the State Government. (6)

On 2 April 2003, the business units from the Department of Public Works and Services which were concerned with assets and procurement policy were transferred to the Treasury. (7)

On 27 April 2007, the group of staff who were principally involved in energy policy were transferred to the newly created Department of Water and Energy. (8) 

From 1 July 2009 The Treasury became one of thirteen Principal Departments of the Public Service. The Treasury was responsible to the Treasurer and the Minister for Finance. (9)

On 10 October 2012 the group of staff from the Department of Finance and Services who were employed to enable the Long Service Corporation to exercise its functions were removed from that Department and added to the Treasury. (10)

1. HRA Series I Vol X p.138.
2. "Concise Guide" 2nd Edition. "Sur - Y", "Treasury" p.72.
3. Ibid.
4. NSW Government Gazette, 22 April 1983, p.1828.
5. NSW Government Gazette, 31 March 1988, p.2046.
6. NSW Government Directory, 1989, p.300.
7. NSW Government Gazette, No.67, Special Supplement, 2 April 2003, p.4331.
8. NSW Government Gazette, No. 47, Special Supplement, 2 April 2007, p. 2106; NSW Government Gazette, No. 56, Special Supplement, 20 April 2007, p. 2435.
9. Public Sector Employment and Management (Departmental Amalgamations) Order 2009 (2009 No 352), cls. 2 and 4; notified on NSW Legislation website, 27 July 2009.
10. Public Sector Employment and Management (Treasury) Order 2012, cl.4 (1); notified on NSW Legislation website, 10 October 2012.

Public Service Lists, 1858-1960.
The Treasurer's Annual Report, 1988.
NSW Public Service Notices, 1983, 1988.
Public Service Board, Annual Report, 1978-79.


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