Our history

Overview

The Department can trace its origins to the earliest days of the settlement that became the State of Victoria. The Treasury is one of Victoria’s oldest institutions, predating the Parliament of Victoria by more than a decade.


A branch of the Colonial Treasury was opened in Melbourne in 1839. The first Government representative sent to Port Phillip, Captain William Lonsdale, was appointed sub-Treasurer in the following year. He had a staff of three and managed an annual budget of £1 812 10s 8d.

The Treasury played a vital role in the establishment of the local economy. Initially it was involved in collecting revenue from land sales and customs duty. Later it became the principal agency responsible for the sale and safe storage of gold extracted from Victoria’s mines in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Today, the Department continues to play a crucial role in building the foundations for Victoria’s future, by managing the State’s finances and promoting economic growth for all Victorians.

Treasury Reserve

DTF is located on the Treasury Reserve, a government precinct located on the eastern fringe of Melbourne’s central business district.

Treasury Reserve includes some of Melbourne’s finest historic public buildings including the Government Printers Office (built 1856-58), the Old Treasury Building (built 1858-62) and No. 2 Treasury Place (built 1859, completed 1874-76).

The precinct has been revitalised to emphasise and enhance the reserve’s role as a pedestrian and heritage area.