Closer Settlement and Soldier Settlement Land Records

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Closer Settlement and Soldier Settlement Land Records is associated with Victoria, Australia located at these coordinates -37.4713077, 144.7851531

Description:
As Victoria recovered from the effects of the 1890's depression, the demand for farming land increased. However, most land suitable for agriculture had already been selected or was part of a large Pastoral Estate. The Victorian Government became concerned about the loss of farmers to other colonies and attempted to stem the flood of farmers from Victoria and increase the numbers of those working the land by acquiring large estates and breaking them into small farms.

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Agency: Department of Crown Lands and Survey VA 538 1898-1905 & 1938-1960
Agency URL: http://www.access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/component/daPublicBaseContainer?component=daViewAgency&entityId=538
Date:
Record Type: Land File
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Language: en
Copyright URL: http://www.prov.vic.gov.au/copyright
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User Tags: closer settlement, soldier settlement




The Department of Crown Lands and Survey VA 538 was responsible for closer settlement and soldier settlement. The acquisition of land for the purpose of closer settlement was first authorised under the provisions of the Land Act 1898. The object of this and subsequent legislation was to transform large estates into closely settled communities engaged in agriculture.

Closer Settlement

The Board of Land and Works VA 744 had the statutory authority to acquire land and then make it available as farm allotments, agricultural labourers' allotments and workmen's home allotments under the terms of conditional purchase leases. Certain residence and improvements conditions applied, initially for the first six years, after which time lessees were at liberty to mortgage, transfer or sublet with consent and, on payment of the balance of the purchase money, to obtain a crown grant. Subsequently lessees were also eligible to apply for advances to assist them to erect dwellings and outbuildings and for other approved purposes. The Closer Settlement Board VA 2266 (previously known as the Lands Purchase and Management Board) had operational responsibility for the administration of closer settlement and subsequently soldier settlement from its establishment in 1905 until its dissolution in 1933

In 1913, under the provisions of the Closer Settlement Act 1912, some powers of the Closer Settlement Board were transferred to the State Rivers and Water Supply Commission VA 723 which was authorised to acquire and dispose of lands for closer settlement purposes. This transfer of authority applied only to land which was considered suitable for closer settlement under irrigation conditions and which was situated, or likely to be situated, within an Irrigation and Water Supply District within the meaning of the Water Act 1905. However the leases were to be issued by the Governor-in-Council; the Commission was not to grant advances to lessees after the expiration of six years and after that period authority reverted to the Board. These restrictions were subsequently repealed by legislation. (Closer Settlement Act 1918).

Special provisions for participants in the Closer and Soldier Settlement schemes

In 1917 under the provisions of the Discharged Soldiers' Settlement Act, the government undertook the settlement of discharged soldiers on lands set aside exclusively for them as a reward for their war service. Special conditions such as low interest finance and no repayments for the first 3 years on 36 year purchase leases were introduced for the settlement of discharged soldiers. From 1922 assisted British immigrants were settled on the land as part of the Closer Settlement schemes. In 1938 further legislation was introduced to make similar provision for the settlement of discharged soldiers from World War II.

Contents

Publications which assist in understanding Land Records

Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) has produced publications which explain the complexities of Land Records and assists researchers by directing them to records which are invaluable sources of history and information. Both are available for sale in our Online Shop along with many other publications and microfiche.

  • The Lands Guide is a comprehensive guide to finding records of Crown land at Public Records Office Victoria (PROV) and covers records from the beginnings of the Port Phillip District of the colony of New South Wales right up to the present day. Topics covered include Crown Land, Land Surveys, Land Acts, Parish Plans, Aboriginal Occupation and the sale, selection, licensing and leasing of land as well as the settlement of the land, environment, industries and infrastructure such as roads, mining and National Parks. The guide also contains Case Studies which demonstrate how the land records held at PROV can be researched and used to understand different aspects of land occupation in Victoria.
  • Private Lives Public Records explores Family History resources at PROV and includes a chapter dedicated to property research in Victoria with sections on land selection and occupation files, Crown Land and Survey Files, Pastoral run files, township plans, rate books and valuation records and much more. There is also a case study includes which showcases the method of utilising the records held at PROV.

Closer Settlement and Soldier Settlement Records Held by Public Record Office Victoria (PROV)

Records Created Under Closer Settlement Acts

  • VPRS 10380 Workman's Homes and Farm Allotments Files 1898-1940 consist primarily of files relating to the leasing and purchase of Workman's Homes and Farm Allotments. Files include completed applications, plans of the site, correspondence between the lessee and the Closer Settlement Board (and later, Commission), details of any transfer of lease, reports of inspections and in some cases, documentation of the application for, and obtaining of, the Crown grant for the land. In one file are details of advances which could be made for improvements and maintenance. Under the Closer Settlement Act 1904 (Section 50) Workman's Homes could be applied for under a conditional purchase lease. Rents were to be paid in half-yearly instalments, including interest on the unpaid portion of the purchase money and were to continue for at least six years before it could be assigned to another person. After twelve years, if the Board was satisfied, application could be made for a Crown grant of the land. Conditions for continuance of the lease were set and observance of them determined by inspectors under the authority of the Land Purchase and Management Board. Conditions included that, within one year of the date of the lease, the allotment must be fenced and a substantial dwelling erected and that, within two years, additional substantial improvements be made and no more than one residence or business allowed on the allotment.
  • VPRS 10644 Register of Land Purchases, Closer Settlement Acts 1899-1923 contains details of the land to be purchased, date, area offered, allotment number, parish, municipality, name of the estate and the process of arriving at a decision regarding acquisition. The name of the vendor, the agent (where applicable) and the price being asked for the land are also given. Further details are given of amendments to the asking price, details of inspections and valuations and the decision of the Closer Settlement Board and, where relevant, the price paid by the Board to the vendor. Further details of Board decisions regarding the purchase of land may be found in VPRS 10240 Minute Books. Summary details of purchases each year were also given in the Report of the Closer Settlement Board tabled in Parliament.
  • VPRS 13926 Register of Applications, Workmen's Homes 1901-1912 Under Part III of the Land Act 1898, the purchase of land at Brunswick "where workmen might devote their spare time and labour to create for themselves comfortable homes under healthy and cheerful conditions" was made possible. Persons applying had their details registered in this Register of Applications. Applicants had to be over 21 years of age and engaged in work "for hire or reward" and not possessed of real or personal property worth more than one hundred pounds. The Register gives the name and current address of the applicant, the number allocated the application (which becomes the file number), the location of the allotment and its extent, the decision with respect to the application and remarks. Applications were registered in alphabetical sections corresponding to family name of the applicant in order of receipt.
  • VPRS 13972 Rent Roll, Workmen's Homes 1903-1917 Prior to the passing of the Closer Settlement Act 1904, applicants applied for a perpetual lease but with the passing of this Act, this became a Conditional Purchase Lease. Rents were to be paid in half-yearly instalments, including interest on the unpaid portion of the purchase money, and were to continue for at least six years before it could be assigned to another person. After twelve years, if the Board was satisfied, application could be made for a Crown grant of the land. Rent rolls give the file number allocated, the name, size and location of the allotment, details of rent instalments and fees, the amount of interest and the date of redemption as well as any details of transfers or cancellations of the lease. Conditions for continuance of the lease were set and observance of them determined by inspectors under the authority of the Land Purchase and Management Board. Conditions included those that, within one year of the date of the lease, the successful applicant was to fence the allotment and erect a substantial dwelling upon it and, within two years, make additional substantial improvements and not allow more than one residence or business on the allotment.
  • VPRS 13948 Rent Roll, Estates, Conditional Purchase Leases, Section 170 Land Act 1898 and Section 383 Land Act 1901 Details given in the rent rolls are the name of the lessee, the details of the location and size of the land, details of the payments of fees and of the date and amount of regular periodic payments of rent. Remarks include details of any transfers of leases to other holders and the subsequent payments made by those persons, any cancellation or revocation or instances of abandonment of the land by the occupier. The file number is also given. The file may be able to be found in VPRS 5357 Land Selection and Correspondence Files. Rents could be paid either by post or personally to the Melbourne office of the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538) or to local Receivers and Paymasters as designated for each parish and Land District (subsequent to the formation of the Occupation Branch in c 1874). Receivers and Paymasters were often local Clerks of Courts.
  • Series VPRS 14435 Register of Estate Purchases, Closer Settlement Acts contains the summary details of the purchases of estates for the purpose of closer settlement. The files relating to these purchases may be found as the Estates files in VPRS 5714 Closer and Soldier Settlement Files.
  • VPRS 13980 Lessees Ledgers, Section 49, Closer Settlement Act In the Lessees Ledgers details are firstly given of the name of the closer settlement estate, the name of the lessee, the location and extent of the land, the parish in which it was located, the date and term of the lease and details of any transfers. Full details are then given of the capital value of the land, payments of capital and interest made under the conditional purchase lease (Section 49 Closer Settlement Act 1904) and notations of any advances and their repayment or extensions of time granted. When land was eventually sold at auction or to municipalities for the provision of roads, details were also recorded in these Ledgers.
  • VPRS 13950 Register of Applications, Section 49 Closer Settlement Act 1904 Applications were recorded in this register with the allocation of an application number which became the file number. Files may be able to be found mainly in VPRS 5714 Closer and Soldier Settlement Files with a denominator of 49. Registers give the name and current address of the applicant, the location and extent of the land, whether the application was successful and remarks which indicate the management of the file throughout the lease.
  • VPRS 15794 Estates Information Pamphlets, Closer Settlement 1905-1915 This series consists of copies of the information pamphlets published regarding estates available for Closer Settlement. Details given are the location and a description of the geography of the estate, a map showing the subdivisions, information regarding the terms and conditions for settlement and a copy of the application form for a block on the estate.
  • VPRS 13951 Rent Roll, Estates, Section 49 Closer Settlement Act 1904 Details given in the rent rolls (with one volume allocated to one estate or a small number of estates) are the name of the lessee, the details of the location and size of the land, details of the payments of fees and of the date and amount of regular periodic payments of rent. Remarks include details of any transfers of leases to other holders and the subsequent payments made by those persons, any cancellation or revocation or instances of abandonment of the land by the occupier.
  • VPRS 10240 Minute Books 1905-1938 This series consists of the Minute Books of VA 2266 Closer Settlement Board (previously known as Lands Purchase and Management Board ) and its successor, VA 2268 Closer Settlement Commission. Members of the Board (and Commission) met at regular intervals with meetings spread over two or three days. Matters dealt with at these meetings were to do with the approval of applications for closer and soldier settler allotments, instructions to officers regarding visits and assessments, passing accounts for payment, decisions regarding the purchase of land to be used for settlements and other matters as set out in the relevant Acts or referred to the body for advice or decision.
  • VPRS 14416 Rent Roll, Section 55 Closer Settlement Act 1904 Details given in this series are the names pf persons or authorities paying the rent and dates and amounts of payments. In a number of cases, the file number relating to the holding of that land is also given. Section 55 of the Closer Settlement Act 1904 referred to the regulations which might be made under the Act allowing for permits for immediate occupation, grazing permits, conditional purchase leases and auctions. Many of the entries in this series are to do with payments for grazing rights. Notifications of rents due at a particular date were circulated by notice or by lists published in the Government Gazette. The latter allowed local officers to be aware of the rents due in their areas. When the rents were paid to these officers, the payments were recorded in the local records and returns forwarded to the Department. Examples of these records may be seen in VPRS 809 Returns of Pastoral Rents Received. At the Occupation Branch, clerks (the rent rollers) were employed whose sole duties was the updating and maintenance of the rent rolls and preparation of certificates documenting payments where these were to be credited against the purchase price of land. Originally from about 1877, a rent roll clerk was attached to each District Land Office within the Occupation Branch.
  • VPRS 14417 Estates Registers, Closer Settlement 1911-1920 Regular inspections were carried out to ensure that conditions of leases were being met, to report on applications for advances and relief from rent payments or to advise the settler. This series consists of registers which provided a double page pro forma for entering the details of the yearly inspection on a number of estates throughout Victoria. Details were given of the names of the estate and the lessee, date of the lease, area and location of the land, capital value of the land,  half yearly instalments and the amounts of any advances and the payments due for them. The remainder of the report was divided into sections. One section allowed for progressive reporting on improvements such as the house, other buildings, fencing and clearing of the land. Details were able to be given of the residence available on the allotment and the yearly population, both adults and children. Each year, details were able to be entered of the implements owned by the lessee and the numbers and type of stock owned and remarks could be made on the lessees' yearly gains and losses.
  • VPRS 11923 Register of Securities Under the Closer Settlement Acts 1911-1938 This series registers securities lodged by settlers under the Closer Settlement Acts for the repayment of advances made to them for the improvement of the land which they were licensing or leasing with a view to final purchase. Details given are the number and date of entry, the name and address of the guarantor of the security, the type of title (lease or licence), correspondence (or file) numbers at the Occupation Branch or the Closer Settlement Branch and the nature of the security which might be a mortgage or a lien on the produce of a farm. The amount of the advance is given as are details of the valuation, the payment of fees, the endorsement of the licence or lease, the registration of a mortgage at the Titles Office, any additional securities and the acknowledgment of the repayment of the loan. Further details with respect to these advances and securities might be able to be found in the series of Advances Files arranged by district.
  • VPRS 14449 Register of Applications, Advances, Section 4 Closer Settlement Act 1912 This series consists of registers of applications by settlers for advances under Section 4 of the Closer Settlement Acts of 1912 which gave additional powers to the Closer Settlement Board for improving land held under a conditional purchase lease with particular mention being made of fencing, clearing and draining the land as well as the power to grade, sow or plant the land or erect buildings upon it. Costs were to become a charge on the land and be repaid under a stated schedule.
  • VPRS 15183 Register of Salaries 1921-1928 This series provides details of the payments of salaries and wages to the employees of the Closer Settlement Board (VA 2866). Employees listed include Board members, valuers, supervisors, inspectors and labourers. Details given are the name and position of the employee, their location, the period of employment, the authorised rate of payment and amounts paid at specified dates. Other details given are the status of the employee in terms of employment or promotion.
  • VPRS 14540 Advances to Lessees, Closer Settlement Act 1904 Closer Settlement Acts allowed for the payment of advances to settlers for the erection of buildings, for fencing, for the purchase of implements and stock and for other defined purposes. The amount able to be obtained and the terms of repayment were set forth in the Acts with the Closer Settlement Board able to take a lien or mortgage or other security to ensure repayment of the advance. This series records advances made to lessees under all sections of the Closer Settlement Act 1904. Details given are the name of the estate upon which the leasehold was situated, the amount advanced to the settler, the term and the interest rate with the lease number and the date. Also given are the name and address of the settler and the location of the land, the approval of the advance and details of payments made to the settler.
  • VPRS 14441 Estate Book, Closer Settlement 1910-1922 This series provides a summary of estates purchased by the Closer Settlement Board and the summary details of the use made of the land purchased. Details given are the estate's name, the details of total area and cost, the name of the vendor and the date of purchase. Also given are the details of the subdivision of the estate with its main purpose (such as agricultural allotments or workmen's homes), the number of each allotment, the area, the selling value and any remarks. Full details are also given of allotments for sale under conditional purchase leases with such details as the lot, the allotment and section, the parish, the price per acre and the capital value. Similar details are given for reserves for public purposes, allotments withheld from application and for allotments leased for grazing.
  • VPRS 15929 Notebook 1912-1912 contains rough notes of the proceedings at meetings and of evaluations of the progress of settlers. These meetings and notes might refer to the Colbinabbin Estate or other irrigated areas.
  • VPRS 13982 Applications and File Management Cards, Closer Settlement 1912-1940 Application and file management cards replaced Registers of Applications in content and function. Details given are the application number (either as a single number or as the fraction where the denominator indicates the section of the Act and the numerator is the file number), name of applicant, area and location of the land (section, allotment, parish and/or estate), whether the land was irrigable and relevant dates. Other details are notations regarding file movements and management. Later versions of the cards have two sections. One section is headed as Financial where details regarding applications for advances and Crown grants were placed and the other headed Land where all correspondence and file management references were placed. Unsuccessful applications did not have a card made up. These were listed at the Department and papers were filed there. Details of active files which were initially registered in the volume registers of applications were gradually transferred onto the cards. Files relating to these applications might be able to be found in VPRS 5714 Closer and Soldier Settlement Files by using the application numbers given on the cards. Other details may be able to be found and clarified in VPRS 11875 Register of Leases, Land Acts, Closer and Soldier Settlement Acts and Mallee Lands Acts.
  • VPRS 15571 Report of Land Sales by Public Auction, Tender and Private Treaty, Closer Settlement 1913-1969 Under the Closer Settlement Acts, the Closer Settlement Board (later the Closer Settlement Commission and later the Department of Crown Lands and Survey) was authorised to relinquish land acquired for closer settlement with the payment of its value to the Closer Settlements Fund. Available land was advertised in the Government Gazette. Within land acquired for and proclaimed as a township, land was sold by public auction. Other land, either on an estate or blocks elsewhere, was advertised as being available by public tender or by private treaty. This series documents details of Crown land sales by public auction, private treaty and tender conducted in accordance with the relevant Orders-in-Council and Land Acts. This series was created by the department to assist in its day to day operations and the administration of the issue of Crown Grants. The reports of land sales by public auction contained information transcribed from the individual Auctioneers Reports of Land Sales by Public Auction (VPRS 80), which were sent to the department after each auction.
  • VPRS 10645 Memos, Circulars and Correspondence 1914-1927 This series consists of bound volumes of circulars and memoranda sent to the clerks of the Closer Settlement Branch of the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538) as guidance and direction in the carrying out of their duties. It was necessary to supplement any standardised instructions with circulars and memoranda as legislation was changed or a decision was made to change procedures. Other circulars and memoranda assisted in the administration of the department itself.
  • VPRS 14444 Summary Cards, Closer Settlement Blocks, Vacated or Lease Cancelled, Northern Victoria 1952-1936 The cards in this series come from the Northern area of Victoria from the Land Districts of Kerang, Echuca and Bendigo. The cards are those for closer settlement blocks which had been vacated by the settler or where the conditional purchase lease had been cancelled. Details are given of the name of the last lessee, allotment and section, parish, estate, area and the district (whether it was irrigable or not irrigable). File numbers for the land and for advances are also recorded. Comprehensive notes are given regarding the history of the block prior to the vacancy and since the vacancy as well as a description of the improvements made to it, the carrying capacity and the availability of water and other matters such as roads and schools. Particulars of the last valuation are given as well as the supervisor's classification of whether it was a living area and of what type.
  • VPRS 14447 Ledger Cards - Advances to Municipalitites, Closer Settlement Acts 1929-1939 This series consists of ledger cards recording amounts owed to the Closer Settlement Board (from 1933 the Closer Settlement Commission) by municipalities throughout Victoria for advances made to them for the construction mainly of roads on, and in, the vicinity of closer and soldier settlement estates. Details given are of the principal and interest owing, any arrears, amount of instalments and details of payments made by the municipality. Section 6 of the Closer Settlement Act 1907 had first provided for these payments. These were continued and covered by Section 99 of the Closer Settlement Act 1915 and Section 133 of the Closer Settlement Act 1928 Amendment Act. This Section provided for the municipality, on the requisition of the Board (or Commission) to undertake work necessary for public traffic and drainage where this was deemed to be necessary for the development of the land. Three-quarters of the cost of such works was to be provided from the Closer Settlement Fund with the remaining quarter to come from the council's Municipal Fund. However, this quarter could be advanced to the council by the Closer Settlement Board (or Commission) with repayment to be made under mutually agreed conditions.
  • VPRS 15338 Lists of Settlers and Farms 1920-1926 This series contains lists of settlers and details of farms under the headings of Farms Under 25 Acres, Farms in Dry Farming Districts and Farms in Irrigation Districts. Details given are the area and location of the farm, its products, amount paid for it, amounts of the deposit and periodic payments and the name and location of the owner.

Records Created Under Discharged Soldier Settlement Acts

  • VPRS 15726 Discharged Soldiers Qualification Committee Register 1917-1935 The Discharged Soldiers Qualification Committee was appointed by the Minister of Lands to consider the suitability of applicants for land under the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act 1917. Applicants were required to provide proof to the Committee with respect to their farming experience and qualifications. Many who gained qualification certificates either did not utilise at all or did not utilise them until after the cut-off point of the issue of new certificates in 1922. This series consists of one register listing names and dates.
  • VPRS 14446 Discharged Soldiers Settlement, County of Borung This series records details relating to settlers under the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act 1917 who had been allocated land in the County of Borung supervised through the Horsham Land District Office. The names with the allotment and section of the allotment are listed with details of cultivation which was being proceeded with. As well, details of advances with the amounts paid made to the settler are given, these usually being for such things as buildings, fences, dams and the clearing or first ploughing of the land. Some entries have comments regarding the progress being made by the settler or the observations made during an inspection.
  • VPRS 15792 Files, Small Improved Holdings Act 1906 The Small Improved Holdings Act 1906 was passed with the professed aims of assisting "deserving persons to acquire small improved holdings in rural districts" in becoming producers and aiding in economic development. Crown land and land acquired for Closer Settlement was subdivided into allotments which were improved and cultivated under the supervision of an appointed foreman. The files in this series illustrate the administrative procedures of the scheme containing application forms, references, foreman's reports and correspondence and records of advances. This Act was repealed in 1909 with some sections being incorporated into the Closer Settlement Act 1909. Remaining settlers under the scheme, if they had met the conditions were able to take out a conditional purchase lease for their allotments, under the terms and conditions of that Act.
  • VPRS 13981 Register of Applications, Sections 55, 57 and 60 Closer Settlement Act 1904 Section 55 of the Closer Settlement Act referred to the regulations which might be made under the Act allowing for permits for immediate occupation, grazing permits, conditional purchase leases and auctions. Under Section 57 of the Act, land acquired for closer settlement could be sold for public purposes such as churches, public halls, schools, cemeteries and a butter factory or creamery. The area was clearly defined and the price, which was to be fixed by the Land Purchase and Management Board, was not to be less than that paid for the land. Land proclaimed a township, or not suitable for closer settlement purposes, or not taken up under conditional purchase lease within (originally) two years or after 1906, twelve months, could be sold at public auction or otherwise as the Board might determine. Once an application was entered in the register for determination by the Board, the number allocated became the file number. These files may be able to be found in VPRS 5714 Closer and Soldier Settlement Files. Oher details in the register are the name of the applicant, the location (the estate) of the land and the area applied for. The Board's decision regarding the application is given with annotations in the remarks column relating to the later management of the file.
  • VPRS 10381 Soldier Settlement Advances Files 1917-1947 Under the provisions of the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act 1917, soldier settlers were eligible to apply to the Board for advances to meet the improvement requirements of their lease. If an application for an advance was received by the Board an advances file would be created and can be found in VPRS 10381. There are also soldier settlement advances files within VPRS 745, 746, 747, 748 and749. These series are arranged by land district and record advances made to closer settlers as well as soldier settlers.The advances files contain information regarding the advance account holder and the land leased. They are arranged by a single file number sequence accompanied by the prefix D.S. (for discharged soldiers) or D.S.L (discharged soldiers lease). Other inclusions in the files consist of correspondence, advances applications, improvement reports made by Inspectors of Land Settlement, payment receipts, asset realisations and Closer Settlement Board (VA 2266) hearings, proceedings and decisions in relation to the advance account.
  • VPRS 14436 Register of Land Purchased, Discharged Soldier Settlement Acts 1918-1929 The registers in this series contain the summary details of the purchases of estates for the purpose of soldier settlement. The files relating to these purchases might be found as the Estates files in VPRS 5714 Closer and Soldier Settlement Files. Details given in the registers include the date, the location, extent and name of the estate and the vendor and the price per acre. Other details relate to the dates and amounts paid as well as the date of possession and any remarks regarding caveats or transfers or the means whereby payments were made (cash or debentures).
  • VPRS 11922 Register of Securities, Discharged Soldiers Settlement Acts 1920-1934 This series registers securities lodged by settlers under the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Acts for the repayment of advances made to them for the improvement of the land which they were licensing or leasing with a view to final purchase. Details given are the number and date of entry, the name and address of the guarantor of the security, the type of title (lease or licence), correspondence (or file) numbers at the Occupation Branch or the Closer Settlement Branch and the nature of the security which might be a mortgage or a lien on the produce of a farm. The amount of the advance is given as are details of the valuation, the payment of fees, the endorsement of the licence or lease, the registration of a mortgage at the Titles Office, any additional securities and the acknowledgment of the repayment of the loan. Further details with respect to these advances and securities might be able to be found in the series of Advances Files arranged by district.
  • VPRS 15796 Appeals Board Files, Discharged Soldier Settlement 1923-1925 Under the provisions of the Closer Settlement and Discharged Soldier Settlement Acts, Appeal Boards could be appointed to hear appeals against conditions of settlement. The Soldier Settlement Appeal Board was advertised throughout the State with settlers being able to appeal against the valuation of their blocks, amount of instalments to be paid and the area allocated. This Appeal Board resulted in the appointment of a Board of Inquiry with the power to summon witnesses. All files have the designated number, the name of the person appealing and the grounds for appeal and the parish and/or estate name. Many files contain only a sheet repeating these details with the notes of actions taken with the file and the original letter sent by the settler to register an appeal. Others may have a detailed analysis of the financial position of the settler possibly reflecting an appearance before the Inquiry Board or a detailed analysis by them.
  • VPRS 14541 Newspaper Cuttings 1925-1925 This series consists of volumes of newspaper cuttings relating to the Royal Commission on Soldier Settlement (VA 1966). One volume consists of cuttings from Melbourne metropolitan papers whilst the other volume contains cuttings from provincial and local papers throughout Victoria.
  • VPRS 15568 Soldier Settlers' Concession Committee, Section 15, Closer Settlement Act 1925 Section 15 of Part II of the Closer Settlement Act 1925 allowed lessees under the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act to apply, if owing to adverse circumstances and other stated reasons they could not meet all their obligations, to have certain debts written off. This series gives details of the Committees formed to deal with these applications. Listings are given of the membership of committees for the different areas of the state and a summary of the procedures these Committees were to follow. A memorandum addressed to the Committees explained the scope which they had in making their recommendations. The minutes in the series consist of a summary of the applications dealt with by the Committee for Geelong and Hamilton and for part of Sale, Bairnsdale and Beechworth. Details given are the case number allocated, name and location of the applicant, Discharged Soldier Settlement lease number, arrears owed by the applicant and amount applied for. A brief summary is given of the adverse circumstances as described by the applicant (often inadequately sized holdings, low prices, crop failures or such things as drought and personal difficulties). Finally, the amount allocated to the applicant is stated.
  • VPRS 15724 Soldier Settlers' Concession Committee Working Notes, Section 15, Closer Settlement Act 1925 This series consists of notebooks kept by members of the Committee for a number of areas in the state. Details given are the case number allocated, name and location of the applicant, Discharged Soldier Settlement lease number, arrears owed by the applicant and the amount applied for. A brief summary is given of the adverse circumstances as described by the applicant (often inadequately sized holdings, low prices, crop failures or such things as drought and personal difficulties). Finally, the amount allocated to the applicant is stated. Notebooks may be looked at in conjunction with VPRS 15568 Soldier Settlers' Concession Committee, Section 15, Closer Settlement Act 1925 (See above).
  • VPRS 15803 Index to Land Purchased for Discharged Soldiers 1919-1919 Under the Discharged Soldier Settlement Acts, land could be purchased in estates or in separate blocks for the settlement of discharged soldiers. It is believed that the names listed in this volume are a list of the sellers of land or blocks already purchased used for this purchase. The number refers to the page in the record being indexed.
  • VPRS 15616 Survey Files 1921-1938 consists of files created for applicants under the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act 1917. Details given are the registered number (or file number), type of application, surname, given name, address of the applicant, the estate and the parish in which it was located.
  • VPRS 15572 Register of Applications for Assistance, Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act 1923-1925 This series records applications from Soldier Settlement lessees for financial assistance from the Closer Settlement Board (VA 2266) to obtain stock, seed, farm equipment and requisites or labouring assistance. Details given are the number and date of the application, correspondence number, name of the applicant, item being applied for, vendor from whom it would be obtained and details of the amount granted.
  • VPRS 15922 Details of the Subdivision of Estates, Closer and Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act 1923-1925 This series consists of copies of summaries of the disposal of estates purchased for closer and soldier settlement. Details given are the name of the vendor, the purchase price as well as the location and area of the land. The name of the estate may be that of the previous owner or occupier. Other details are the value placed on improvements and the selling value of the property.

Records Created Under Both Closer Settlement and Discharged Soldier Settlement Acts

  • VPRS 5714 Closer and Soldier Settlement Files 1898-1960 There are two major types of file in this series: the estate file and the selection file. The estate file is the record of the re-purchase of land. The file is normally arranged in two parts: the survey file and the purchase file. The survey file contains plans of the land to be recommended for purchase, valuations of the land and improvements, details of proposed subdivisions, the recommendations of the Closer Settlement Board on the purchase and correspondence with the Surveyor General, the valuer, the Shire and others. The purchase file is used in conjunction with the survey file. The purchase file is mainly a correspondence file containing correspondence between the Closer Settlement Office and the land holders, the valuer, the Shire, prospective settlers and others whose opinion or action is necessary for the purchase of the land. The file also contains descriptions and plans, file notes and instructions. The facing page is the "straight out offer of land". This page records the details of the offer; the details of the land, the decision of the Board and the final result; whether purchased or not. The selection file is the record of the purchase of an allotment by a settler. Closer settlement and soldier settlement land was obtained by purchase lease agreements. The settler leased and farmed the allotment while purchasing the land from the Crown. When the full purchase price was paid, title to the land was transferred from the Crown to the settler and the file closed. Included in a selection file is the application to purchase lease the land, lease details including payment receipts, correspondence and instalment accounts, general correspondence regarding the allotment and the lease, land inspection reports and purchase arrangements. An insurance file is included with the selection file. Insurance was held on the dwelling, outbuildings and fencing while the purchase lease agreement was current.
  • VPRS 15654 Register of Applications, Wire Netting 1910-1926 Under the Vermin Destruction Act 1890 (and previous Acts dealing with the suppression of vermin such as the Rabbit Suppression Act 1880), provision was made for the payment of advances to municipalities for wire netting for effective fencing. These advances could consist of cash for the purchase of the wire netting, or the provision of rolls of wire netting, arranged by the Public Works Department (VA 669). Advances to individuals were to be repaid and liens or mortgages could be taken to ensure this. These matters were further developed in the Wire Netting Act 1909 and other Wire Netting Acts subsequent to it. The Closer Settlement Act 1909 made the Closer Settlement Board VA 2266 responsible for the administration of the matter with particular reference to the provision of wire netting advances to settlers covered by that Act.Details given are the number of the application and the date of receipt, the name and address of the applicant, the location and extent of the land (including the type of title held under), the terms, the date of reports from the Occupation Branch and the local lands bailiff, the quantity or amount of cash approved, the dates of notifications and orders, the details of securities and the file management markings.
  • VPRS 14477 Register of Valuation of Improvements 1918-1934 lists improvements made to properties in the Western (including Horsham and Geelong), Northern (including Kerang, Echuca and Benalla) and Melbourne Districts. Details given are the district code number, the file number, the name of the recipient, the parish and allotment number, the name of the estate and details of the buildings allotted with the cost of erection until after c1930 when details became sparser. Remarks could include notes of whether the improvement was a renovation or a remodelling of the building and details of its size. Details of contracts relating to these improvements may be found in VPRS 14448 Contract Books.
  • VPRS 14487 Estates Register, Valuation of Improvements 1921-1930 gives the value of improvements (particularly houses, outbuildings and fencing) made for settlers on specific estates. For each estate, listings are given showing district number, the name of the applicant, the parish, the allotment number, the estate name and, in the remarks column, a list of the improvements made and the cost of each with the total for each estate given. Further details relating to the value of improvements may be found in VPRS 14477 Register of the Valuation of Improvements.
  • VPRS 13943 Register of Applications, Farm Allotments Conditional Purchase Leases, Sections 103 and 170 Land Act 1898 and Sections 130 and 383 Land Act 1901 1899-1913 These allotments were advertised in the Government Gazette as being available to be taken up under conditional purchase lease with one lease being allowed per person. During the first six years of the lease considerable improvements were to be made to the land. Their value was determined by the value of the land or at the rate of ten per cent of the purchase money payable. The lessee or a member of his family was to reside on the land for eight months of each year with no power to transfer or mortgage the land within the first six years. After that six years, the lease might be transferred or an application made for a Crown grant of the land. The total amount of the purchase money was determined by the Board of Land and Works with interest to also be paid on unpaid purchase money. Rent Rolls documenting the payment of the instalments are held by PROV as VPRS 13948
  • VPRS 11875 Register of Leases, Land Acts, Closer and Soldier Settlement Acts and Mallee Lands Acts 1899-1977 Under the Land Acts, Crown land could be leased for use by private persons or organisations under various terms and conditions. Some leases were for the use of the land for a finite time, others were perpetual leases whilst others were a form of deferred purchase whereby the rent paid under a fixed term lease was credited against the total purchase price for the land. The terms and conditions of leases were specified in the relevant sections of the Acts and in regulations made under the Acts. The Register of Leases recorded details of the Section under which it was granted, the name and parish of the lessee, the allotment and section of the land and its area in acres, roods and perches, the date of the lease, the date of the Governor's consent to it, the date of its execution, the date and place of its final issue and any remarks. Volumes dealing exclusively with Closer Settlement and Soldier Settlement give the file number instead of the Section of the Act. Many of the volumes in this series have notes regarding the forwarding or delivery of the lease to the lessee.
  • VPRS 745 Advances Files - Northern Division, VPRS 746 Advances Files - Geelong Division, VPRS 747 Advances Files - Eastern Division, VPRS 748 Advances Files - Western Division and VPRS 749 Advances Files - Mallee Division The Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act 1917 (and its successors) allowed for the payment of advances to settlers to allow for the erection of buildings, for fencing, for the purchase of implements and stock and for other defined purposes. The amount able to be obtained and the terms of repayment were set forth in the Acts with the Board (or Commission) able to take a lien or mortgage or other security to ensure repayment of the advance. Details of these may be found in VPRS 11922 Register of Securities, Discharged Soldiers Acts or in VPRS 11923 Register of Securities, Closer Settlement Acts. When closer settlement land was first selected like any Crown land, a selection file was created. Selection files are held in VPRS 5714 Closer and Soldier Settlement Files. If settlers applied for and were granted an advance, an advance file was created.The advance file records the closer settlement selection file number of the advance account holder. Conversely, if an advance file existed, the selection file will record the advance file number. The two files were maintained simultaneously as the selection file recorded information about the lease/licence of the land and the advance file recorded information specifically concerning advances made to lease/licence holders.
  • VPRS 11920 Register of Hire Purchase Agreements, Closer and Discharged Soldiers Settlement Acts 1920-1934 Under Section 5 of the Closer Settlement Act 1918 (with provisions applicable to closer and dicharged soldier settlers) the Board was able to use the Closer Settlements Fund for the purchase of plant and equipment, seeds and live stock and other such things that were seen as necessary for the carrying out of the purposes of the Act. These purchases could then be resold by the Board under hire purchase agreement to settlers who required them. This series records hire purchase agreements made between the Closer Settlement Board (and later Commission) and settlers under the Closer Settlement and Discharged Soldiers Settlement Acts. Settlers could acquire tools, farm equipment and household necessities through these agreements. Details given in the register are the number of the agreement, the date of the entry in the register, the Correspondence Number and/or the Discharged Soldiers Lease Number, the articles included in the agreement, remarks and the date of discharge of the agreement.
  • VPRS 14448 Contract Books 1921-1928 Section 9 of the Closer Settlement Act 1906 (Section 96 Closer Settlement Act 1915) had given the Board the power to erect dwelling houses and outbuildings and to make improvements on allotments. The value was fixed by the legislation, with the principal and interest (of five per cent per annum) to be repaid over twenty years. At the same time, the Board was able to make advances for tools and equipment or to make these available to lessees through rent or hire purchase (see VPRS 11920 and VPRS 11921). VPRS 14448 records contracts made between the Closer Settlement Board (VA 2266) and private contractors for the provision of buildings and goods to be used for settlers under the Closer Settlement and Discharged Soldiers Acts. Details given are the name of the contractor, number of the contract, name of the lessee, Government Gazette reference for the contract, details of the contract, amount for which it was let, details of payments, registration number and date registered. Most of the contracts recorded were for the erection and renovation of houses and the making of additions to them. Some contracts were also for the bulk supply of such farming equipment as windmills, and ploughs and for the erection of pumping plants.
  • VPRS 15731 Register of Valuations made for the Country Roads Board (VA 722) 1924-1936 records details of valuations made for theCountry Roads Board (VA 722) to deal with road routings and re-alignments. Details given are the number, date of the valuation, name of the registered proprietor of affected land, location and area of the land, name of the valuer, dates when the valuation was issued and returned to the Country Roads Board and the cost of the valuation.
  • VPRS 15933 Applications, Section 14 Closer Settlement Act 1925, Beechworth District This series consists of a small bundle of applications from North-East Victoria for the re-appraisement of the capital value of land permitted to lessees under the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act in Section 14 Closer Settlement Act 1925. This section provided that, if the true value of the land was less than the sum being charged, this sum would be altered to reflect that true value. Details on the application are the name of the lessee, location and extent of the land, reasons for the lessee's application, details of improvements made and of stock being held on the land.
  • VPRS 11921 Register of Agreements to Let and Hire, Closer and Soldier Settlement Acts; Securities Taken by the Board of Land and Works Bushfire Advances 1926 and Cultivation Advances Act 1927 Under Section 5 of the Closer Settlement Act 1918 (applicable to both Closer and Discharged Soldier Settlers), the Closer Settlement Board (from 1933 the Commission) was able to purchase tools, equipment and other farm necessities. It was then able to rent or hire them to settlers as the need arose. Details recorded are for the securities taken and held by the Board of Land and Works for the rent and hire of farm equipment and tools under the Closer and Discharged Soldiers Settlement Acts from 1924 to 1928. Details given are the number of the agreement, date of the entry, name and address of the settler, correspondence number, articles included in the agreements, amount of money involved and any remarks (often about the completion of payments). Rented or hired equipment appears to be primarily the type of equipment such as ploughs and harvesters used for only part of the farming operation and which involved a significant amount of capital to own. Also detailed in this series are securities taken by the Board of Land and Works for the repayment of advances made to Crown lessees as Bush Fire Advances in 1926 and under the Cultivation Advances Act 1927. The Cultivation Advances Act allowed for advances to be made for the purchase of such necessities as seed at the start of the farming year with these to be repaid once returns upon the farming operation had been received. This security took the form of a lien or mortgage. Details given are the number and date of entry, name and location of the recipient of the advance, Volume and Folio of the Land Certificate Lease, security lodged and the Titles Office registration number.
  • VPRS 15023 Advances Cards 1929-1958 This series consists of cards summarising advances made to farmers to enable them to continue with farming operations. Advances were mainly available under the Closer Settlement and Discharged Soldiers Settlement Acts, Seed Advances Acts, Cultivation Advances Acts (1933and 1934) and the Farmers Advances Act 1935 which provided advances for other farmers. These Acts were administered by the Closer Settlement Board and later the Closer Settlement Commission and by the Farmers Advances Branch. This latter Branch was part of the Occupation branch of the Department of Crown Lands and Survey for almost 20 years. Under these Acts and provisions in other related Acts, farmers were able to obtain advances in terms of stock and/or equipment or credit to obtain stock or equipment in order to continue their farming operations. Mortgages or liens on produce were taken as security for the repayment of the principal and the statutory rate of interest. Details given on each card are the name of the farmer, location of the land, its size and file number. Also given is the nature of the title held for the land - Crown grant or lease or Closer or Discharged Soldier Settlement lease as all could be mortgaged as security for advances. Other details are the date when entries relating to the granting of advances were made, form of security (whether a title or a lien on produce), amount of security, date submitted to the Board of Land and Works
  • VPRS 15697 File Management Cards, Grazing and Cultivation Leases, Closer Settlement Act 1928 Under Section 99 of the Closer Settlement Act 1928, permits could be issued for grazing and cultivation on land acquired by the Board but not yet disposed of, or applied for, under a conditional purchase lease. Other land which could be leased in a similar fashion was that land where leases had been cancelled or revoked by the Board and where a new lease had not been granted or the land was to be sold. This series consists of file management cards for grazing and cultivation leases issued and regulations made under this Act. Other cards relate to the general leasing of vacant land on estates - often to sick soldiers. These individuals often held permits to occupy or conditional purchase leases under the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Acts and were unable to continue due to war-caused illness. Details on the cards are the name and address of the lessee, the location and area of the land, any file number and the details of file management.
  • VPRS 15606 Files of Applicants for the Unemployment Land Settlement Scheme 1930-1932 Land was available for the settlement of unemployed persons on the land as the Closer Settlement Board had land already purchased or reserved for the purposes of closer and/or soldier settlement. For example, under Section 99 of the Closer Settlement Act 1928, permits could be issued for grazing and cultivation on land acquired by the Board but not yet disposed of or applied for under a conditional purchase lease. Under Section 6 of the Unemployment Relief Amendment Act 1930, sums of money were provided for these settlers to travel to the land and for the acquisition of hand tools and domestic use stock with under, initially, the supervision of the Unemployment Relief Works Board (VA 3146). Files relating to the provision of these funds may be seen in VPRS 10383 Unemployment Relief Files
  • VPRS 14582 File Cards, Melbourne Division, Closer and Discharged Soldiers Settlements Acts 1932-1934 and VPRS 14584 File Cards, Northern Division, Closer and Discharged Soldiers Settlements Acts 1932-1934 The cards in this series appear designed to summarise and evaluate a settler's (or lessee's) situation from 1932. It is possible that this was used to assist in relation to the determination of a settlers liabilities and the adjustment to the instalments to be paid under the arrangements of Section 30 of the Closer Settlement Act 1932. Financial details for the Melbourne Division may be found in VPRS 755 Settlers Accounts, Melbourne Division. A single card was devoted to each settler's property with green-blue cards being used for Closer Settlement leases, red cards for Discharged Soldier Settlement leases and beige cards for Auctions. Extra markings are on the cards to denote Workmen's Homes Allotments or settlers granted Unemployment Relief. Details were given of the numbers of the advances file and the land file, the name and address of the lessee and the date of the lease. The location of the block (parish and location of Inspector), allotment and section and area are also given with an evaluation of the suitability of the block and of any securities held. An evaluation could be made of the settler or the settler's physical fitness and a notation of the amount of the adjusted instalment and of advances. A final section on the card allowed for a brief report on the suitability of the block, the uses made of it and the abilities of the settler and the extent of indebtedness.
  • VPRS 10643 Minutes, Cultivation Advances Board 1932-1933 Under the Cultivation Advances Act 1932, the Board of Land and Works or theCloser Settlement Board were responsible for determining the outcome of applications for cultivation advances. The membership of the Cultivation Advances Board consisted of the Secretary of the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538), the Accountant and the the Secretary of the Closer Settlement Board (VA 2266).
  • VPRS 15762 Land Files Estrays, Closer and Soldier Settlement 1900-1960 Land files were created as a record of all dealings and correspondence relating to a specific parcel of land once it had been leased or licensed for occupation. Files might include details of the initial survey of the land, applications for a lease or license to occupy the land, correspondence with the Department of Crown Lands andSurvey or theCloser Settlement Board andCommission with respect to the occupation, any details of the transfer of the land to another lessee or licensed occupant and any details of a Crown grant. This series consists of land files for Closer and Discharged Soldier Settlement which had become separated from the bulk of the files and were not included in the main series of files.
  • VPRS 14432 Register of Mortgage and Lien Payments, Koo-Wee-Rup 1901-1909 Both the Closer Settlement Acts and the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act 1917 (and its successors) allowed for the payment of advances to settlers to cover the costs of the erection of buildings, fencing, the purchase of implements and stock and for other defined purposes. The amount able to be obtained and the terms of repayment were set forth in the Acts with the Board (or Commission) able to take a lien or mortgage or other security to ensure repayment of the advance. Applicants were able to apply for these conditional purchase leases under Section 170 of the Act or under Section 103. This latter Section related to swamp lands such as the Koo-Wee-Rup and Moe Swamps where allotments could be applied for as a conditional purchase lease. This series records liens taken on the produce produced by the occupants of land in the Koo-Wee-Rup area or mortgages taken out to finance farming activities. Details are given of the name of the debtor, location and extent of the land, date of the lien or mortgage and where it was dealt with. It is apparent that advances were given in the form of orders for specific things as details are given of orders given for grass seed or for fencing materials or building materials with the amount. Further details are of the amount of interest, the yearly instalment due, of repayments of principal and interest and of any fees and of the discharge of the mortgage or lien.
  • VPRS 15926 Liabilities and Land Sales, St. Arnaud District, Closer and Soldier Settlement 1909-1938 This series records a few details of early applications but, predominantly, it records details relating to the liabilities for advances of Closer and Soldier Settlers in the area administered by the St Arnaud District Land Office. Details given are the land file number, advances file number, name of the settler, location and extent of the land and amounts owing. These records include those applicable after the revaluations and financial adjustments made in 1937. There are also lists of settlers with Stay orders under the Farmers Advances Act 1935 and details of the sales of land previously held under Closer and Soldier Settlement leases. Further details relating to the properties listed might be found in VPRS 745 Advances Files - Northern Division.
  • VPRS 15763 Advances Files - Melbourne Division This series consists of files created and maintained by officers of the Closer Settlement Branch of the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538) as a result of the advances schemes for settlers under both the Closer Settlement scheme and the Soldier Settlement schemes. The files provide evidence regarding the advance account holder and the land leased. Details given are the names of the estate and the landholder, the location and area of the land leases and the date and term of the lease. Other details may include a summary of the advances made and the purpose (house, grading, wire netting or stock) and a summary of liens taken on produce and of payments. Other inclusions in the files may consist of correspondence between the settler and the Closer Settlement Board (VA 2266) or the Closer Settlement Commission (VA 2268), advances applications, improvement reports made by Inspectors of Land Settlement, payment receipts, asset realisations and Board hearings, proceedings and decisions in relation to the advance account. Some of the files have 'deficiency case' stamped on the facing page. This appears to have been done when the decision was made that there was little or no possibility that the settler would be able to make repayments.
  • VPRS 15706 Purchases of Land, Closer and Discharged Soldier Settlement Acts 1912-1918 This series gives details of the purchase of land for the use of Closer and Discharged Soldier Settlement from private vendors. Details given are the date of purchase, name of the vendor, estate or applicant (with an annotation if the land was purchased under the provisions of Sections 6 and 11 of the Act) and whether the applicant was a discharged soldier. Further details are of the location and extent of the land, price per acre, remarks, date of possession and details of any application for a special advance.
  • VPRS 15930 Fire Claim Registers, Closer and Soldier Settlement 1914-1944 Under the provisions of the Closer and Soldier Settlement Acts, settlers were required to take out fire insurance. This series records claims made on that insurance including those made after the major bushfire of 1939 (Black Friday) and after other bushfires which caused damage such as those in 1944. Details given are the fire number (or claim number), dates upon which a loss occurred, date of the advice, file number, name of the insured person, property being claimed for (fencing, dwelling, shed or outbuildings), sum for which they were insured, location of the property (the number of the lot and the parish), amount of the claim for buildings or for fencing, date the claim was paid and any remarks.
  • VPRS 3675 Discharged Soldiers and Closer Settlement Account Journals 1916-1928 Journals in this series contain entries relating to payments of principal, interest and fines from land, payments of advances, payments for houses and other assets and equipment provided to lessees, the gains from the realisation of assets and purchases of land for use for closer or soldier settlement.
  • VPRS 752 Purchase of Land Files 1917-1920 This series contains examples of files relating to the purchase of land for settlers under Section 20 of the Closer Settlement Act 1915 and the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act 1917. These particular examples are for discharged soldiers. Files contain applications, correspondence with the Closer Settlement Board (VA 2266), Inspectors' reports on the land and details of decisions made by the Board. The file may contain maps and/or plans of the land. Section 20 of the Closer Settlement Act 1915 provided that, where a resident on land had reached a provisional agreement to purchase with the owner of the land, they could apply to the Board to ratify that agreement for them. If this occurred, the resident could then become a settler under the terms and conditions of the Act on that land. Terms and conditions were laid down with respect to the value of the land and the terms of the contracts to be entered into. Further details relating to such purchases may be found in VPRS 14436 Register of Land Purchased, Discharged Soldiers Settlement Acts,VPRS 15573 Register of Purchases of Land for Soldier Settlement andVPRS 14433 Inspector's Report Books, Acquisition of Land, Closer Settlement Acts and Discharged Soldiers Settlement Acts.
  • VPRS 14538 Allotments Granted under the Closer and Discharged Soldiers Settlement Acts 1917-1926 This series lists allotments granted on estates acquired for settlement under either the Closer Settlement Act or the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act. Details given are the date of the allocation, the name of the person to whom the allotment was allocated, the estate, the allotment and section within the estate as well as the parish and the area of the allotment and the capital value placed on the allotment.
  • VPRS 14437 Register of Inwards Correspondence, Soldier Settlement 1918-1920 This series was maintained by the Closer Settlement Board within the Department of Crown Lands and Survey and registered correspondence received relating to the purchase of land for the settlement of discharged soldiers under the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act 1917 and other matters relating to soldier settlement. Registrations consisted of the registered number, dates of the letter and of the entry into the register, name and address of the correspondent, summary of the subject of the letter and how it was dealt with. Within a registration, there may be notations of the numbers of other pieces of correspondence received on the same subject denoted by a letter and a number.
  • VPRS 15804 Index to Estates 1918-1927 This series lists estates used for closer and soldier settlement. Details given are the correspondence number, the estate name and the parish of its location and a journal reference.
  • VPRS 15614 Auctions and Land Sales Files 1918-1950 This series contains examples of files relating to the sale of land originally acquired by the Crown for Closer or Discharged Soldier Settlement by auction, tender or private negotiation. Upon occasion, when a conditional purchase leasehold was abandoned or the lease was cancelled, the land was not kept available for a new lessee. Land could be sold by public auction, tender or through private negotiation. A summary record of this may be seen in VPRS 15571 Report of Land Sales by Public Auction, Tender and Private Treaty, Closer Settlement. Files in this series may include papers relating to the original purchase of the land for the purpose of Closer or Soldier Settlement, details relating to the previous leaseholder or owner, payment and contract details and possibly a plan. Similar files in other series for properties dealt with in the same way can be accessed by reference to the categories of Auctions and Land Sales on VPRS 7311 Microfiche Catalogue of Crown Lands and Survey Files: File Number Order. (Please Note:- This Microfiche Catalogue is held in our Reading Rooms and does not need to be ordered).
  • VPRS 15613 Architect Files, Closer Settlement and Discharged Soldier Settlement 1919-1944 This series relates to the provision of housing for closer and soldier settlers. Details given can include the application to the Closer Settlement Board (VA 2266), correspondence relating to the application, plans and specifications, details of tenders from contractors and details of Board hearings with respect to applications. Section 9 of the Closer Settlement Act 1906 (later Section 96 of the Closer Settlement Act 1915) had given the Board the power to erect dwelling houses and outbuildings and to make improvements on allotments. The value was fixed by the legislation, with the principal and interest (of five per cent per annum) to be repaid over twenty years. Further details of contracts with respect to the provision of housing for settlers can be found in VPRS 14448 Contract Books.
  • VPRS 15934 Miscellaneous Schedules, Closer and Soldier Settlement 1919-1938 This series consists of copies of a variety of schedules created relating to closer and discharged soldier settlement and are listed in chronological order by type.
  • VPRS 14450 Register of Files, Soldier Settlement 1921-1923 This series registers files created for applicants under the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act 1917. Details given are the registered number (or file number), the type of application, the surname, given name and address of the applicant, the estate and the parish in which it was located.
  • VPRS 10442 Rent Roll, Advances and Liens 1920-1924 consists of records of payments made to farmers as advances for the sowing and cultivation of wheat crops in the Mallee. Details given are the number of the advances file of the farmer, name of the person, location of the land, details of the payments made and from whom these might be reclaimed once the crop had been harvested and sold.
  • VPRS 15615 Mortgages and Agreements to Let and Hire 1921-1936 Under Section 5 of the Closer Settlement Act 1918 (applicable to both closer and discharged soldier settlers), the Closer Settlement Board (from 1933 the Commission) was able to purchase tools, equipment and other farm necessities. It was then able to rent or hire them to settlers as the need arose. This series consists of discharged mortgages and completed contracts for the let and hire of tools and equipment entered into by closer and soldier settlers. Mortgages had to be registered with the Registrar-General (the Titles Office). These examples give the format of the documents and their terms and conditions, details of the settler entering into the agreement and the terms of the actual agreement. Numbers on the mortgages refer to the summary records in VPRS 11922 Register of Securities, Discharged Soldiers Settlement Acts and VPRS 11923 Register of Securities under the Closer Settlement Acts. Further details relating to the letting and hiring activities may be found in VPRS 11921 Register of Agreements to Let and Hire, Closer and Soldier Settlement Acts; Securities Taken by the Board of Land and Works Bushfire Advances 1926 and Cultivation Advances Act 1927.
  • VPRS 3678 Register of Realisation of Assets, Closer and Discharged Soldiers Settlement Acts 1923-1936 Both the Closer Settlement Act and the Discharged Soldiers Settlement Act had stringent provisions requiring the repayment of advances made to a settler, even if the lease held was cancelled or forfeited. As part of attempting to secure repayment, the Closer Settlement Board (from 1932 known as Closer Settlement Commission) was able to sell any stock, tools and/or equipment owned and used by the settler. This series contains details of this disposal of the property of closer and soldier settlers in a number of districts. The name of the former lessee was given with the details of the location and extent of the land leased as well as the file number and the name of the responsible Inspector. The assets of animals, tools or equipment were then listed along with the Inspector's valuation, how the item was disposed of (usually sold or transferred to another settler), details of any cash sales and of the amount realised by the transfer of ownership, date of the disposal and the source of any particulars - these might be Inspector's Reports (T.R.), Returns (B) or the Stock in Hand Return (S.R).
  • VPRS 15640 Register of Appeals, Dry Areas 1924-1924 This series registers correpondence received by the Closer Settlement Board in relation to applications for land and the management of land occupied or available under the closer settlement and soldier settlement schemes administered by the Board. Details given are any relevant file numbers for leases held by the correspondent or advances file number, name of the correspondent, parish, allotment number and estate and any file management details in the Remarks column.
  • VPRS 15797 Register of Inward Correspondence 1925-1937 This series consists of registers of inwards correspondence. Details given are the file number to which it refers, the name of the correspondent and parish or estate where the land was located, the allotment number and the date . Other details included the subject and to whom the letter was referred. These included the Chief Inspector, the Board, the Valuer and the Occupation Branch.
  • VPRS 10016 Realisation Accounts, Mallee Division 1928-1939 This series contains accounts for the realisation of assets supplied to a lessee after the cancellation or revocation of a lease. These assets could include the house and buildings, farm animals and farm tools and equipment. Also included were the valuation of improvements made to the property. On some cards these assets are listed in detail on the back of the card with the valuation ascribed to them. Details are given of the lessee and the location of the land and the relevant accounts. Other records relating to the same matter can be seen in VPRS 3678 Register of Realisation of Assets, Closer and Discharged Soldiers Settlement Acts.
  • VPRS 15946 Register of Referred Correspondence, Closer and Soldier Settlement 1929-1934 This series contains a record of correspondence referred to other departments or branches of the agency such as the Accounts Branch and the Architects Branch. Details given are the correspondence number, the name of the correspondent, the subject, the address or locality of the land and the disposal details.
  • VPRS 12067 Wire Netting Advances Files c1911-c1960 Wire Netting advances were to facilitate the eradication of vermin on settled land. Closer Settlement tenants could apply for advances to enable them to purchase fencing material to build vermin proof fences. Provisions for this were made in the Closer Settlement Act 1904 and also in the Rabbit Suppression Act 1880 and the Wire Netting Act 1928. These files provides evidence of the function of the Closer Settlement Board (VA 2266) (previously known as the Lands Purchase Management Board) in advancing money and fencing material to closer settlement land holders specifically for the purpose of vermin destruction. Please Note: The series in custody is only a small portion of the Wire Netting Advances Files that were originally created. The location of the remainder of the series and the method for selection of this sample is unknown.
  • VPRS 16750 Soldier Settlement and Land Settlement Compiled PlansThis series contains lithographic copies of official parish and township plans produced by the Department of Crown Lands and Survey. These plans are compilations (six to eight plans glued onto the one sheet) relating to individual settler's allotments or adjoining blocks within one or several estates. Many of the surveys were sections removed from larger plans. Some of the multiple survey plans on each sheet are annotated with hand drawn plan sections and hand coloured. The Compiled Plans provide such details as land parcel boundaries and proposed changes, allotment dimensions, adjoining reserves and roads, the status of adjoining land e.g. sold, where provision has been made to add additional infrastructure. Some of the plans record details about the individual settlers, including their name, date of crown grant, . The Compiled Plans were produced for both Soldier Settlement and Land Settlement Estates.
  • VPRS 16751 Soldier Settlement and Land Settlement Estate Plans These lithographic copies of county, parish and township plans produced by the Department of Crown Lands and Survey provide detailed information on each particular Soldier Settlement and Land Settlement estate. The Soldier Settlement Commission worked with the Department which undertook the original surveys for the estates. There are also a few plans produced by the Rural Finance Commission. Many of the Department of Crown Lands and Survey plans have been hand coloured and annotated with references to drainage easements and other infrastructure as well as information on the changing status of the land e.g. transfer arrangements for crown grants. Some plans are annotated with hand drawn plan sections which detail updated boundary lines and provide enlargements of specific features like reserves or roads. The Estate Plans record the land parcel boundaries, either within an entire estate, or for larger settlements a portion of the estate. They also record the land settlement estates within the context of the county, parish and township boundaries. The plans record details about the individual settler's allotments, including their name, date of crown grant, land dimensions and the Settlement Purchase Lease Preparation File (VPRS 16540). They record topographical features, changes to boundaries, reserves and roads or where provision has been made to add additional infrastructure. The Estate Plans overlap in content with VPRS 16752 Soldier Settlement and Land Settlement Survey Plans. (See below)
  • VPRS 16752 Soldier Settlement and Land Settlement Survey Plans are comprised of both compilations (six to eight survey plans glued onto the one sheet), and single plans of entire estates. Many of the surveys were sections removed from larger plans. The compilations can include surveys of individual settler's blocks and surveys of entire smaller estates, or combinations of both. Some of the later plans even include annotated photocopies compiled onto plan sheets.Many of the Department of Crown Lands and Survey plans have been hand coloured and annotated with references to infrastructure, reserves and information on the status of the land e.g. leases and Crown grants. Some of the plans are annotated with hand drawn plan sections which detail updated boundary lines and provide enlargements of specific features like reserves or roads e.g. Trig Station Drainage Reserve. The Survey Plans provide such details as topographical features, changes to boundaries, reserves and roads or where provision has been made to add additional infrastructure. The plans record details about the individual settler's allotments, including their name, date of crown grant, land dimensions and the Settlement Purchase Lease Preparation File (VPRS 16540). Some of the plans record the land settlement estates within the context of the county, parish and township boundaries (not the individual allotment surveys). The Survey Plans overlap in content with VPRS 16751 Soldier Settlement and Land Settlement Estate Plans. (See preceeding entry)
  • VPRS 16753 Soldier Settlement and Land Settlement Other Agency Plans  As part of its operations managing the different estates, the Soldier Settlement Commission received a diverse selection of plans from other agencies. This series is an artificial collection which documents the services provided to Solder Settlement and Land Settlement Estates. The majority of these plans were produced by the State Rivers & Water Supply Commission (VA 723), although some were from the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538) and other agencies. The plans are all lithographic copies, some of which have been coloured and annotated.This series comprises different types of plans including: topographical maps; contour drawings; technical drawing for infrastructure such as pipeline systems; longitudinal sections. The State Rivers & Water Supply Commission plans mainly relate to irrigation and water infrastructure. Some of the plans which show land parcel boundaries for each settler's block also have other details like the parish and county boundaries, date of grant, grantee, land dimensions and related file references.
  • VPRS 16754 Soldier Settlement and Land Settlement Building Plans and Specifications  In the course of developing Soldier Settlement and Land Settlement Estates, the Rural Finance Commission and its predecessor agencies developed a range of standard designs for houses, sheds, other farm buildings and fences. This series consists of plans, specifications and blueprints for these facilities. These records only relate to a limited type of facilities (mainly dairy and fences) and represent the collection still in existance rather than the entire range of standard designs available to settlers.
  • VPRS 16755 Soldier Settlement and Land Settlement Land Sales - Information Sheets for Applicants   This series contains broadsheets for prospective settlers, providing information on the different land estates. The broadsheets reflect the Soldier Settlement Commission's staggered approach to opening up the land within each estate to the prospective settlers. Each broadsheet represents the particular subdivision made available to applicants and include the following information: estate and subdivision plans; the geographical location of each estate and that particular subdivision; the acreage of the entire subdivision; the type of farming suitable to undertake on the land; terms of the Land Settlement Agreement; the address of the Enquiry branch for applicants to obtain further information. Some of the broadsheets are annotated with hand written notes on each subdivision. In a few instances, the successful applicant's names have been added to allotments within the subdivision plan.The broadsheets are arranged in two chronological sequences according to the date of land release for each estate subdivision. The majority of the broadsheets in this series relate to subdivisions released to the soldier settlers (discharged servicemen) from 1947 to 1960 although the last 53 sheets relate to subdivisions released to applicants under the Land Settlement Act 1959 from 1959 to 1976.
  • VPRS 16756 Soldier Settlement and Land Settlement Estate Cards  The Estate Cards record progress of the key steps in the progress of a settler's acquisition of each Lot within the Solder Settlement or Land Settlement Estates and comprise two versions of the same index, which are both arranged alphabetically by name of estate, then by numerical sequence of all the Lot numbers within each estate. The Estate Cards do not seem to cover all the allocated lots in each estate and may have been compiled after the settlement scheme had been established.
  • VPRS 16757 Register of Stay Orders Stay Orders were a temporary suspension of the debt whilst the Board resolved a payment solution for both the farmer and his creditors. The register documented the issuing of Stay Orders by the Farmers' Debt Adjustment Board and the eventual cancellation of these orders once the process of repayment had been resolved. The repayment options could include the cancellation of Crown debt and consolidating the farmer's debts to pay creditors.
  • VPRS16758 Soldier Settlement and Land Settlement Registers This is an artificially created series which records applications for loans, housing contracts let, purchase leases granted and temporary leases granted. The registers record family and given names of applicants/settlers, estate and lot number and, in the case of housing, registers the buillder's name and address and the location of the work.
  • VPRS 16759 Soldier and Land Settlement Deeds Register was created to record the documents held as securities (deeds) relating to the settlers' other debts which would impact on their ability to pay off the Purchase Lease on the Soldier and Land Settlement Estate blocks. This record of each settler's other financial liabilities and repayment of these debts was part of the process for determining their suitability as an applicant for the land settlement scheme. The registers document the settlers' deeds held by the Commission e.g. a lien, bills of sale, lease mortgages, and the date of discharge or repayment for each deed. In some instances the deeds were disbursed to the Commonwealth Bank or other institutions.
  • VPRS 16760 General Subject Correspondence Files This series contains the remnants of several filing systems developed by the Soldier Settlement Commission and its successor agencies. The majority of the files relate to programs administered by the Rural Finance Corporations (I and II) on behalf of the Victorian government. Examples of the programs include Drought Assistance, Marginal Dairy Farm Reconstruction Scheme and Rural Adjustment Scheme. The fact that there are still a few operational files e.g. Security, seems to suggests that these records were part of a larger system. The last five boxes of files were not part of the previous alphabetical sequence and seem to have been artificially added to the filing system. This sequence includes older files dating from 1947 to 1970. Some of the files have alphanumeric file numbers e.g. D 1187 and were part of an official system. Both the series of estate development files (VPRS 16289 and VPRS 16290) have some files with the same numbering system and were originally part of the filing system. Other early files hold copies of reference material, working papers and volumes.
  • VPRS 16540 Soldier Settlement and Land Settlement Purchase Lease Preparation Files document the processes undertaken by the creating agencies in managing grants of settlement purchase leases to recipients, soldier settlers under Section 27 (67A) of the Soldier Settlement Act 1946, and land settlers under the Land Settlement Act 1959 (later files stamped over with Section 34 Rural Finance Act 1988). This series comprises the official documentation of the various stages from the issuing of a settlement purchase lease through to granting the settler title to the property. A portion of the files represent settlers who took both types of leases available: the Interim Leases for the settler to rent the property for up to 7 years and the Purchase Lease for the settler to enter into a legal agreement of lease instalments to pay off the property and obtain a Crown grant.The contents of these files include: survey plans and the legal conditions of payment for the lease, correspondence and other documentation relating to the process of the settler paying off the lease and the issuing of a Crown grant. The granting of freehold to the settler sometimes overlapped with the subsequent sale of the property and request for the Crown grant in the settler's name. In some instances the settler defaulted on the lease repayments and the grant was revoked.

Records created under  the Overseas Settlers, British Empire Settlement Act 1922

  • VPRS 14438 Register of Approved Overseas Settlers, British Empire Settlement Act 1922 Under the provisions of the British Empire Settlement Act 1922, a number of agreements were made between the Imperial, Commonwealth and State Governments to encourage British residents to migrate to Australia for the purpose of land settlement and to augment the labour force. Overseas promotion and supervision of selection for these schemes became a Commonwealth responsibility. This series consists of a record of the settlers assisted by the Closer Settlement Board. Details given are the file number relating to the settler, his name, the name of the ship on which he arrived, the date of arrival as well as the individual's address. This was often the Elcho Training Farm near Lara which had been established with two-thirds of the costs of establishment, management and maintenance having been borne by the British and Commonwealth Governments. The registration of the individual as a settler is also recorded with notes regarding applications for land, actual placements and inspections of land. The final column gives the details of any allotment granted to the settler.
  • VPRS 10384 Advances Files, Approved Overseas Immigrants, Closer and Soldier Settlement, Melbourne Division This series consists of files created and maintained by officers of the Closer Settlement Branch of the Department of Crown Lands and Survey (VA 538) as a result of the advances schemes for settlers under both the Closer Settlement scheme and the Soldier Settlement schemes. The files provide evidence regarding the advance account holder and the land leased. Details given on the cover of the file are the names of the estate and the landholder, the location and area of the land leases and the date and term of the lease. Other details may include a summary of the advances made and the purpose (for either house, grading, wire netting or stock) and a summary of liens taken on produce and of payments.

Records created under the Unemployed Relief Amendment Act

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