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HRWC Terms of Reference

Part 1 – Preliminary

1. Name

This Committee will be called the Hunter Regional Weeds Committee (RWC).

2. Purpose

The purpose of the RWC is to provide ‘tenure neutral’ strategic planning and coordination of weed management activities at the regional level. These activities play an integral part in an overall state weed management framework.

The RWC is a local community advisory group under the provisions of Section 33 of the Local Land Services Act 2013.

The RWC is established to:

  • support implementation of the weeds components and underlining principles of the NSW Biosecurity Strategy, NSW Biosecurity Act and the NSW Invasive Species Plan 2017-2022;
  • provide advice to the Board regarding delivery weed functions for the Local Land Services (LLS) consistent with the Local Strategic Plan;
  • to co-ordinate delivery of the Hunter Regional Strategic Weed Management Plan (RSWMP) across all land tenure and major stakeholders in the region
  • provide a forum for the community and stakeholders in decision making, and develop communication education and awareness programs based on local and/or regional priority weeds and issues.

3. Relationship of the LLS Board, the RWC and State Weed Committee

The LLS Board is accountable for ensuring that the RWC has appropriate representation for the region and functions effectively.

The key role of the RWC on behalf of the Hunter LLS Board is engaging stakeholders, building collaboration and coordinating delivery of the RSWMP across stakeholders. In doing so the RWC provides advice to LLS Boards on achievements or issues arising for resolution. The RWC also presents key communication, education & awareness programs to the Hunter LLS Board for consideration and endorsement.

The RWC has autonomy to make decisions consistent with the Hunter LLS Strategic Plan and in collaboration with the local LLS Board. An indicative RWC relationship structure is shown at Figure 1:

Figure 1: RWC relationships structure.

Figure one depicts the regional weeds committee relationships structure,

Part 2 – Objectives and Functions

(1)The objectives of the RWC include but are not limited to the goals of the NSW Invasive Species Plan 2017 – 2021.

i)Exclude – prevent the establishment of new invasive species.

ii)Eradicate or contain - eliminate, or prevent the spread of new invasive species.

iii)Effectively manage – reduce the impacts of widespread invasive species.

iv)Capacity Building – ensure NSW has the ability and commitment to manage invasive species; and to promote awareness of invasive weed species within the community.

(2)To facilitate the development, refinement and implementation of the regional strategic weed management plan across the regions stakeholders using committee expertise and best available knowledge, research and technology.

(3)To promote effective co-ordination of weed management across agencies and tenure, including appropriate resources and information sharing between member organisations.

(4)To promote weed policy, risk assessments, declarations, best practice and control outcomes to member organisations and the community.

(5)To advise on weed priorities and other strategic matters in the region and seek advice relating to weed listings, cross jurisdictional and other matters.

(6)To liaise with neighbouring regional weed committees, especially with respect to any significant incursions and potential movement of priority weeds from one region to another.

(7)To facilitate development of regional communication, education and awareness programs that promote plan outcomes and facilitate education, training and the encouragement of persons and organisations in weed management.

(8)To identify synergies from collaboration and opportunities for funding and priority project delivery

(9)Identify information and research needs and appropriate collaborative actions.

(10)To facilitate measurement and evaluation of weed control activities across the region to inform weed management action and planning.

(11)To review and report on outcomes of RWC collaborative planning and delivery processes to the local Board.

Part 3 – Membership

The organisations listed below will be eligible to become members of the RWC and nominate representatives. Member representatives should have a broad knowledge of weed management practices and obligations for their respective stakeholder group and have appropriate delegation to make decisions on their behalf.

Hunter Regional Weeds Committee

Local Control Authorities

8

Local Land Services

1

OEH / NPWS

1

NSW Farmers

1

NSW Department of Primary Industries DPI

1

Local Aboriginal Land Councils

1

Landcare

1

Public Land Managers

10

Environmental interest Groups

1

Mining Industry

1

Weed Expertise and Interest

2

Nursery Industry1

TOTAL:

28

The LLS Board will review membership to ensure that membership adequately reflects regional characteristics and weed management issues and that the RWC functions effectively. Members will be appointed to the RWC for a term of up to 3 years.

4. Role of Members

The role of individual members of the RWC will include:

  • promoting a strategic and coordinated approach to regional weed management
  • having the support of and ability to represent their stakeholder group
  • being a conduit for information flow between their respective stakeholder group and the RWC
  • building a cooperative, collaborative and effective RWC
  • having a broad understanding of the issues relevant to the regional management of weeds
  • developing background knowledge on relevant emerging weed issues and communicating this to the RWC
  • addressing barriers to effective implementation and willingness to assist in the development of appropriate solutions.

5. Organisational Structure

The RWC will have a chair and vice chair appointed for one year terms by the LLS Board. LLS staff will provide executive support to the RWC and additional support resources and specialists may be invited to meetings as guests when their expertise is required.

Appropriate local arrangements will be made for the recruitment of project support and coordination services.

6. Conflict of Interest

A member of the RWC who has a pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest in any matter before the RWC, and who is present at a meeting where the matter is being considered, must disclose and identify the nature of the interest to the meeting as soon as practical.

7. Resignation of Membership

Resignation shall be in writing and effective upon the date of receipt by Hunter LLS.

8. Conduct Unbecoming

Hunter LLS and/or the RWC may expel any representative whose conduct is, in the opinion of the RWC, discreditable or injurious to the character or interests of the RWC.

9. Attendance of Members

Should the appointed representative be unavailable for a scheduled meeting alternate representative arrangements may be organised between the appointed representative and Hunter LLS.

Representatives who are absent without reasonable cause from three successive meetings may be considered to have resigned their seat. The RWC will approach the member organisation to address the situation.

Part 4 - Processes

10. Record of Meetings

All scheduled RWC meetings are to be appropriately recorded and minutes distributed to RWC members and the Hunter LLS Board.

Meeting summaries will be placed on the Hunter LLS website within two weeks of each meeting and all members will be notified of the website posting by email.

11. RWC Meetings

(1)    The RWC will meet as required and supported by the respective LLS Board.

(2)    Meetings will be located central to the region or by mutual agreement between member representatives as determined at the end of each RWC meeting.

(3)     An agenda together with relevant supporting material will be forwarded to members at least one week prior to the meeting to enable consideration of key issues.

(4)     A simple majority of the membership constitutes a quorum for the transaction of the business at a meeting of the RWC.

12. Decisions

(1)     Decisions to be made by consensus of the members.

(2)     In the event of disagreement, decisions will be determined by a majority vote of the representatives of the RWC or of any sub-committee appointed by the RWC present at the meeting.

(3)     Each representative present at a meeting of the RWC or of any sub-committee appointed by the RWC is entitled to one vote but, in the event of an equality of votes on any question, the Chair will have the deciding vote.

(4)     Decisions made at meetings are recorded in the form of resolutions and tabled with the respective Board for consideration.

13. Dispute Resolution

Disputes will be raised with the Chair in the first instance for resolution. Issues that cannot be resolved will be escalated to the Hunter LLS Board for resolution. The Board may liaise with the State Weed Committee on specific issues to assist resolution.

14. Outcomes

Outcomes from RWC activities will include:

  • a strong collaborative partnership approach to delivery of RWC functions and services
  • a thorough, inclusive and consultative approach to stakeholder communication, consultation and engagement
  • timely and effective information exchange between stakeholder organisations and the RWC
  • development and delivery of products and processes including business planning and communication strategies that achieve the objectives of the RWC
  • informed collaborative delivery and responsiveness to emerging issues.

15. Remuneration and Resourcing

Non-Government Organisation representatives will be recompensed for travel and relevant out of pocket expenses. Government and industry representatives will attend at their own cost. LLS will provide catering and resources to support the operation of the RWC as required.

16. Review and Evaluation

The operation of the RWC will be reviewed and evaluated annually against its objectives and Terms of Reference.