The Electricity Commission of New South Wales is a statutory body responsible for the generation of electricity and its bulk transmission throughout New South Wales. Local authorities, mainly County Councils, are responsible for the retail distribution of electricity to New South Wales consumers. However, the Commission makes supplies available directly to several large industrial consumers and to the State Rail Authority.
The Commission was constituted on 22 May 1950 by the Electricity Commission Act 1950. It was restructured on 1 August 1982 by the Electricity Commission (Amendment) Act 1982, on 12 June 1987 by the Electricity Commission (Amendment) Act, 1987, and on 12 April 1989 by the Electricity Commission (Amendment) Act 1989. At the time of its establishment the Commission's functions were to restrict and regulate the use of available supplies of electricity, to acquire the power stations and main transmission lines of the four major supply authorities (Southern Electricity Supply, Sydney County Council, the Department of Railways and the Electric Light and Power Supply Corporation Ltd, known as the Balmain Company), to increase power production, and to develop the State's resources in order to cater for its future requirements. The current charter of the Commission is:
|1.||Minutes of meetings of the Commission,
22 May 1950-30 Jun 1983, CGS 4192
(Kingswood 11/19346-78). 33 vols.
These Minutes are the official record of the meetings of the Chairman and Commissioners of the Electricity Commission of New South Wales. They contain details of the resolutions relating to all matters discussed and approved at the meetings, which originally took place on a weekly basis but are now held each month. Each volume is indexed in detail with the index entry giving a page and minute number.
This set of Minutes is one of the many duplicate copies produced for reference purposes within the Commission.
|2.||Annual Reports, 1954-61, CGS 4193
(Kingswood 7/1520, 8/2245). 1 box, 1 vol.
8/2245 is a typescript draft of the 1959/60 Report of the Commission.
|3.||Records relating to the operation of
the Balmain, Pyrmont and White Bay power stations, 1892-1984, CGS 4194
(Kingswood 6/14875-81). 7 boxes.
These are mainly records of the early suppliers in Sydney (eg. Balmain Company and Sydney County Council). They relate to the operations of the Balmain, Pyrmont and White Bay power stations, along with a financial ledger of the Parramatta and Granville Electric Supply Company Ltd. They comprise specifications, contracts, agreements, tenders, operating manuals, loading charts, photographs, correspondence, balance sheets, minute books and other records.
A full listing is available.
The Administration Group assists the Commission to attain its corporate objectives by ensuring that all customers receive a cost-effective and professional level of policy, advice and service. The main emphasis of its operations lies in the provision of quality service to its customers, and the rest of the Commission.
|4.||Records relating to power
restrictions, 1973, 1981-82, CGS 4195
(Kingswood 18/1498.4-1501.1). 4 boxes (part).
These records relate to the impact of power restrictions on the general community in 1973 and 1981-82. The origin of the power restrictions, gazetted on 21 June 1973, lay in the difficulties experienced at the Liddell Power Station with its coal supply and the failure of both its coal loader and the coal loader at Munmorah Power Station. Industrial action by power workers further disrupted the State's power supply during this period. The power restrictions in June 1981, December 1981 and March 1982 were due to a combination of industrial problems coinciding with the failure of 555 megawatt generators at the Liddell Power Station.
The Electricity Commission operated a telephone enquiry service during the periods the power restrictions were in operation. This service was established to receive complaints and answer questions from members of the public and take "follow-up" action where necessary. These records comprise the following matters relating to the operation of the public telephone service: electricity supply zone lists; summaries of complaints received by the Electricity Commission relating to breaches of the power restrictions; individual complaints sheets for each telephone enquiry; graphs showing the level of telephone complaints; details of violations in the restrictions; media releases; copies of notices from the Government Gazette relating to the restrictions; telephone supervisors' information folder; and copies of the rationing regulations.
Community and Media Relations Group
The Community and Media Relations Group was established in 1986, having been formed from the Public Relations Branch of the Commission which had operated since about 1953. The main role of the Group is to identify, interpret and present advice on internal and external issues which may affect the Commission and its relationship with the outside community. In addition, the Group is responsible for developing programs which keep the community informed about the Electricity Commission's activities and help to promote its image. The Group is also responsible for the editing and production of the Commission's Annual Reports, the staff magazine Network, promotional brochures, and the creation of the Megawatt Club (a children's interest club).
|5.||Community and media relations files,
c.1976-81, CGS 4196
(Kingswood 18/1508). 1 box.
These files relate to: the opening of the Apprentice School at Muswellbrook; arrangements for the Royal Easter Show; a joint media statement on the future of the Southern and New South Wales coal fields; 20 year Growth exhibit; Publicity arrangements for Public Loan 1060 (retained as a sample); information received from outside individuals/bodies; responses to public inquiries; policies on photography, tariffs and power station visits; advertising; complaints and media criticism.
The Finance Group is responsible for the planning and monitoring of the financial operations of the Commission. In early 1989 the Treasury Group was established, and it assumed responsibility for many of the functions, including raising loans on behalf of the Commission, previously carried out by the Finance Group.
|6.||Administration files, c.1975-85,
(Kingswood 18/1509.1). 1 bundle.
These files contain information on Commission sites at Warragamba Hydro Electric Station, Bunnerong, and Broken Hill.
Planning and Development Group
The Planning and Development Group was responsible for the design of options for the longer term development of the Commission. In addition, the Group also prepared specific plans for shorter term implementation.
In 1990 the organisational structure within the Electricity Commission underwent considerable change. As a result of this re-organisation most of the functions of the Planning and Development Group were absorbed by the newly created Supply Planning Group. This new Group performs three main functions: Grid planning, System Performance planning and Generation Options planning.
|7.||Papers relating to staffing levels of
the Group, 1987-88, CGS 4198
(Kingswood 18/1509.2-.3). 2 bundles.
These records relate to the staffing levels of the Planning and Development Group, comprising details of staff establishments and Reviews of Work Programs. They came from the office of Dr Paul Smith, who had been the Manager of the Group.
|8.||Papers associated with new legislation
relating to the Commission, 1987, CGS 4199
(Kingswood 18/1510.1, 6/14874). 1 box (part), 1 vol.
These papers comprise drafts of the new legislation, copies of Parliamentary debates and information on new Queensland legislation. A copy of the Queensland Electricity Bill, 1976, with annotations, is also included (6/14874).
These records came from the office of Dr Paul Smith, who had been the Manager of the Planning and Development Group.
|9.||Development ("DE") files,
1970-89, CGS 4200
(Kingswood 18/1501.2-1507). 7 boxes (part).
The Generation Projects Planning Branch managed the identification and evaluation of supply-side options for future power generation. The Branch consisted of the following sections: Fuel Resources; Feasibility Studies (Coal and Hydro); Environmental Strategies; Environmental Approvals; and New Technologies.
These files were created by the Feasibility Studies (Coal and Hydro), Environment Approvals and New Technologies Sections of the Branch. These three sections worked closely together and they shared a common filing system for the Development ("DE") files.
The files relate to power station planning and construction, environmental matters, design summaries, air and water pollution, transmission assets, plant availability, system reserves, major plant installation and planning schemes.
|10.||Electrical Plant Studies Section
files, c.1944-59, CGS 4201
(Kingswood 18/1510.2). 1 bundle.
The Electrical Plant Studies Section was responsible for the examination of the following technical areas: interconnection power transfer capabilities determined by system damping; generator voltage regulator design, setting and performance; generator parameter identification; and electrical data collection and dissemination.
These records consist of two files relating to the installation of major plant at Pyrmont and Bunnerong Power Stations respectively. These stations have now been decommissioned.
Concise Guide compiled and converted to HTML by Christine Shergold and Michael Allen