Conservation Advisory Committee - Terms of Reference

1. Purpose

The Conservation Advisory Committee is established by Council under sections 3(1) and 86 of the Local Government Act (1989).

The Committee provides an advisory role and brings community perspectives and knowledge to Council.  The Committee provides strategic advice and advocacy to the City of Casey on matters relating to natural resource management, sustainability, heritage and waste, relevant to the municipality.

These Terms of Reference should be read in conjunction with Council’s Advisory Committee Policy, which guides the establishment, operation, review and disbanding of Advisory Committees.

2. Objectives

The Conservation Advisory Committee seeks to:

  • Provide a community perspective and strategic advice on Council strategies, policies and programs as they relate to the Council Plan
  • Provide a community perspective to the Council on State and Federal issues relevant to the Terms of Reference
  • Makes specific recommendations to Council relevant to the topics of interest.
  • Foster community pride and involvement in Council initiatives and programs

Sub-committees will seek to:

  • Provide a forum for information and education sharing between community and Council
  • Provide input and advice on the delivery of relevant Council strategies, policies and programs as they relate to the sub-committee
  • Identify and raise awareness of emerging issues related to the sub-committees topics of interest
  • Support Council officers in the delivery of Council’s Heritage, Sustainability and Environmental Grant programs

3. Structure

The structure of the Conservation Advisory Committee consists of the Committee and four Sub-committees as detailed below.

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Sustainability topics of interest

  • Sustainability
  • Emissions Management
  • Water Management
  • Built Environment
  • Energy Management
  • Climate Change
  • Transport

Natural Resource Topics of Interest

  • Flora and Fauna
  • Biodiversity Management
  • Pest plant and animal control
  • Land use planning
  • Air quality

Heritage Topics of Interest

  • Aboriginal Cultural Heritage
  • Heritage (inter war and post war)
  • Built Heritage
  • Heritage Planning
  • Local History

Waste and Recycling Topics of Interest

  • Waste Education
  • Waste Management
  • Litter Management
  • Landfill Management

4. Membership

Membership to the Conservation Advisory Committee and sub-committees is on a volunteer basis. The Conservation Advisory Committee will be supported by four (4) sub-committees.

Membership to the Committee and relevant sub-committees is outlined below.

The Conservation Advisory Committee comprises:

  • Up to four (4) Councillors of the City of Casey
  • The Conservation Advisory Committee comprises up to twelve (12) Community representative, including a minimum of two (2) representatives of each sub-committee,
  • A representative of the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne
  • Manager City Planning ex officio
  • Team Leader Environment and Heritage ex officio

Members are appointed by resolution of Council

The sub-committees comprise:

  • A maximum of eight (8) community representatives on each sub-committee with an interest and or experience in topics relevant to the sub-committee.
  • A Council officer specialising in the discipline of the particular sub-committee.

Members are appointed by a resolution of Council.

Membership to sub-committees will be based on knowledge and experience in the following:

  • Sustainability
  • Environmental education
  • Waste and material management
  • Community leadership
  • Natural environment
  • Connection to educational and scientific bodies
  • Cultural heritage
  • Climate change
  • Water
  • Land use

Additional members may be appointed to the Advisory Committee at any time by the Council.

Non-members may be invited to attend an Advisory Committee to present or provide specialist advice. However, they must not be involved in the decision making process.

5. Term of Appointment

The term of the Committee is aligned with the Council Term and reviewed every two (2) years. Nominations for the Conservation Advisory Committee will be assessed by Council officers having regard to demonstrated skills and experience, commitment to heritage, waste, sustainability and natural resource management matters, and ability to work constructively with others including with Councillors and Council officers.

Recommendations will be made to Council for deliberation on membership.  All members are eligible for re-appointment and there is no limit on the number of terms a person may serve on the sub-committees.

Appointment to the sub-committee will be by nomination and recommendations will be made to Council for deliberation.

A member may resign from the Conservation Advisory Committee or sub-committee at any time by advising of their resignation in writing to the Manager City Planning.  Council may appoint a community representative to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term.

A member who is absent for more than two consecutive meetings without leave or reasonable excuse, may be requested to explain their absence. In the event that absenteeism of a member is an on-going, the Committee may request Council via the Manager City Planning to declare the position vacant.

6. Conduct of Meetings

Meetings will be chaired by a Councillor. In the event of a Councillor not being in attendance, the Committee will appoint a temporary Chairperson for that meeting.

Unless otherwise determined, in consultation with the Manager City Planning, the Conservation Advisory Committee will meet on the first Wednesday of the month for an hour and a half. Two (2) sub-committees will meet concurrently for the hour and a half prior to the Conservation Advisory Committee.

For voting purposes, the Chairperson shall accept motions duly moved and seconded by members of the Conservation Advisory Committee and the vote taken by a show of hands.

Council officers and guests are not members of the Conservation Advisory Committee and do not have voting rights.

A quorum for meetings is not less than fifty percent of the number of members of the Committee who are entitled to vote.

Where a member may have a conflict of interest on a matter being discussed, (i.e. potential financial or material gain arising from the Advisory Committee’s decision), prior to consideration of the relevant item, this interest must be declared to the Chairperson. The member must leave the room and remain outside until the conclusion of discussion on the item.

Conflict of Interest Declaration is a permanent agenda item.

All other matters relating to meeting procedures shall be governed by Council’s Meeting Procedures Local Law and the Advisory Committee Policy, as amended from time to time.

Two sub-committees will meet concurrently for an hour and a half prior to the meeting of the Conservation Advisory Committee. Sub-committee representatives will report to the Advisory Committee and are required to comply with these Terms of Reference.

Committee members other than Councillors are volunteers and must comply with Council’s Code of Conduct for Volunteers including the display of Council’s Trademark Behaviours.

7. Administration and Reporting to Council

All secretariat tasks for the Committee will be undertaken by Council officers.

All minutes of the Committee Meetings will be presented to Council at the earliest practicable Council Meeting. Council officers will prepare a report to accompany the minutes of each meeting. 

Council officers will prepare a report summarising the activities and key achievements of the Conservation Advisory Committee which will be presented to Council annually.

Recommendations regarding the filling of vacancies will be submitted to a Closed Council meeting for determination.

8. Limitations of Authority

The Conservation Advisory Committee has no authority to:

  • Expend moneys on behalf of Council.
  • Commit Council to any arrangement.
  • Consider any matter outside its specific reference.
  • Direct Council officers in the performance of their duties.

9. Publicity

Committee members, with the exception of the Chairperson, must not make any public comment about the Conservation Advisory Committee.

10. Confidentiality

Information discussed, received, used or created by the Committee is confidential, unless the Committee resolves otherwise.

Non Disclosure

  • A Committee member must not disclose, discuss or make public confidential information.
  • All Members must sign and abide by a ‘Member Declaration’ (see attached).

Restriction of Use

  • A Committee member must not photocopy or in any way record, retain, or reproduce confidential information.
  • A Committee member must not permit any person who is not a member of the Committee to view, read, photocopy, make notes of or in any way record confidential information.

Breach of Confidentiality

  • The City of Casey, by resolution of Council, may terminate a Committee member’s term for breaching the confidentiality rules.

11. Review of the Terms of Reference

The Terms of reference will be reviewed on an annual basis in-line with sub-committee nominations to the Conservation Advisory Committee

The Terms of Reference were last updated on 17 March 2017.