|Formed||1 January 1901|
|Dissolved||22 December 1975|
|Superseding agency||Postal and Telecommunications Department|
|Jurisdiction||Commonwealth of Australia|
The Australian Government Postmaster-General's Department (PMG) was established at Australia's Federation tasked with responsibility for postal and telegraphic services. It was abolished in December 1975.
The Postmaster-General's Department of Australia was created in 1901 to take over all postal and telegraphic services within Australia from the states and administer them on a national basis. The Department was administered by the Postmaster-General.
The first permanent Secretary of the Department was Sir Robert Townley Scott who held office from 1 July 1901 until his retirement on 31 December 1910.
In mid-1975 the department was disaggregated into the Australian Telecommunications Commission (trading as Telecom Australia) and the Australian Postal Commission (trading as Australia Post). It also controlled radio and television broadcast licensing, which is now controlled by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Telecom Australia changed its name to Telstra in 1995 and has since been privatised.
The Department was abolished in December 1975 by the Fraser Government, and replaced by the Postal and Telecommunications Department. The change was intended to take account of the increase in the functions of the department to include all electronic media matters which had previously been the responsibility of the Department of the Media.
Early history of telephony
The first exchange in Sydney opened with 10 subscribers at 1pm on the 11th October 1881. It was located at the Royal Exchange building, and the following year was transferred to the GPO.
The Victorian Telecommunications Museum houses examples of old technology used since the PMG's inception.
- CA 9: Postmaster-General's Department, Central Administration, National Archives of Australia, retrieved 5 December 2013
- "Federation- 25 Years' Achievements Reviewed: Commonwealth Problems". The Canberra Times. 21 October 1926. p. 8.
- Fraser, Malcolm (18 December 1975). "MAJOR CHANGES IN MINISTERIAL AND DEPARTMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND FUNCTIONS" (Press release). Archived from the original on 11 January 2014.
- Telecom Australia (1979), Switching Tomorrow, HQ Information and Publicity office
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