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North Coast Regional Weed Committee Terms of Reference December 2015

PART 1 – PRELIMINARY

1.         Name

This Committee will be called the North Coast Regional Weed Committee (Regional Weed Committee).

2.         Purpose and Establishment

The purpose of the Regional Weed Committee 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 Regional Weed Committee is a local community advisory group under the provisions of Section 33 of the Local Land Services Act 2013.

The Regional Weed Committee 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 2015-2022;
  • provide advice to the Board regarding delivery of weed functions for North Coast Local Land Services consistent with the North Coast Local Strategic Plan;
  • to review existing plans and develop innovative and effective Strategic Weed Management Plans that consider risks, include all land tenure, and major stakeholders in the landscape; and
  • 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 North Coast Local Land Services Board, Regional Weed Committee and State Weed Committee

The North Coast Local Land Services Board is accountable for ensuring that a functional Regional Weed Committee is established and has appropriate representation for their region.

The Regional Weed Committee makes recommendations that are consistent with the North Coast Local Strategic Plan. The requirement for member participation in the planning process is critical in ensuring that planning documents and legislative tools are appropriate, equitable and enforceable. Plans that meet this test will be endorsed by the North Coast Local Land Services Board as Strategic Weed Management Plans.

The Regional Weed Committee can raise significant weed policy issues to the NSW State Weed Committee for consideration. Similarly, the NSW State Weed Committee or its members can liaise directly with Regional Weed Committee.

An indicative Regional Weed Committee relationship structure is shown at Figure1:

Regional Weed Committee Structure Figure 1: Regional Weed Committee relationships structure on the North Coast.

PART 2 – OBJECTIVES

  1. The objectives of the Regional Weed Committee include but are not limited to the goals of the NSW Invasive Species Plan 2015 – 2022.
    1. Exclude – prevent the establishment of new invasive species.
    2. Eradicate or contain - eliminate, or prevent the spread of new invasive species.
    3. Effectively manage – reduce the impacts of widespread invasive species.
    4. 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 identify and prioritise target weed species and to promote weed policy, declarations, best practice and control outcomes to member organisations and community.
  3. To develop and implement strategic weed management plans that are based on best available local knowledge, research and technology.
  4. To advise the NSW State Weed Committee on weed matters relating to declaration, control and promotion for the Region.
  5. To ensure the measurement and evaluation of progress in the control of invasive weed species is undertaken in accordance with the Strategic Weed Management Plan.
  6. To ensure education, training and the encouragement of persons and organisations in weed management is undertaken in accordance with the Strategic Weed Management Plan.
  7. To facilitate the development of a communication, education and awareness program based on local and/or regional priority weeds and issues.
  8. To promote effective and efficient collaboration and co-ordination of weed management programs, and promote resources and information sharing between member organisations.
  9. Liaise, where necessary, with other Regional Weed Committees to develop and deliver weed management plans.
  10. Identify synergies and capitalise on opportunities for sourcing investment in and delivery of priority projects.
  11. Identify information and research needs and appropriate collaborative actions.
  12. To monitor, evaluate and report on outcomes of the Regional Weed Committee collaborative planning and delivery processes.

PART 3 – MEMBERSHIP

4.         Membership Generally

The Regional Weed Committee will comprise representatives from the key stakeholder groups listed in Item 5.

The North Coast Local Land Services Board may amend this membership and seek representation from additional stakeholder groups as appropriate to ensure appropriate regional representation to address the characteristics of the region.

Member representation is to be at the appropriate decision making level and members should have a broad knowledge of weed management approaches and the obligations of their respective stakeholder group.

5.         Composition of Membership

The following stakeholder groups comprise membership of the Regional Weed Committee.

Stakeholder GroupNumber of Representatives
North Coast Local Land Services2
NSW Department of Primary Industries1
Office of Environment and Heritage1
Local Control Authorities3-6
Forestry Corporation of NSW1
Roads and Maritime Services1
Crown Lands1
John Holland (Country Regional Network)1
Aboriginal land managers1
NSW Farmers1
Environmental interests1
Landcare1
Rural landholders3

Members will be appointed to the Regional Weed Committee for a minimum term of 2 years.

6.         Role of Members

Role of individual members of Regional Weed Committee will include:

  • Promoting a strategic and coordinated approach to regional weed management,
  • Representing the interests of their stakeholder group,
  • Acting as a conduit for information flow between their respective stakeholder group and the Regional Weed Committee,
  • Building a cooperative, collaborative and effective Regional Weed Committee,
  • Having a broad understanding of the issues relevant to the regional management of weeds,
  • Reporting on emerging weed issues and communicating this to the Regional Weed Committee,
  • Addressing barriers to effective implementation and willingness to assist in the development of appropriate solutions,
  • Demonstrating a commitment to the Regional Weed Committee process.

7.          Organisational Structure

The Regional Weed Committee will have an Independent Transition Chair appointed for 12 months by the North Coast Local Land Services Board. The Chair will have demonstrated experience in building collaborative partnerships for strategic weed planning and management.

A Deputy Chair will be elected on a 12 monthly basis from within, and by, the stakeholder representation to carry out the Chair role should the Chair be unavailable.

North Coast Local Land Services identified staff will support the Regional Weed Committee functions 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.

8.         Conflict of Interest

A member of the Regional Weed Committee who has a pecuniary or non-pecuniary interest in any matter before the Regional Weed Committee, 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.

9.         Resignation of Membership

Resignation shall be in writing and effective upon the date of receipt by North Coast Local Land Services.

10.       Code of Conduct

It is expected that Regional Weed Committee members contribute to a cooperative and effective committee with a strategic focus. Behaviours that promote this include:

  • Participating in meetings in a professional manner;
  • Treating all Regional Weed Committee members and points of view with respect;
  • Forming strong collaborative relationships with all members of the Regional Weed Committee;
  • Being inclusive and consultative;
  • Contributing constructively to discussions; and
  • Maintaining a strategic focus.

11.       Conduct unbecoming

North Coast Local Land Services and/or Regional Weed Committee may expel from the Regional Weed Committee any representative whose conduct is, in the opinion of the Regional Weed Committee, discreditable or injurious to the character or interests of the Regional Weed Committee and/or contrary to the code of conduct described in this document or the Department of Industry Code of Conduct - Schedule 1 For members of advisory committees/boards.

12.       Attendance of members

Should an organisation’s appointed representative be unavailable for a scheduled meeting, alternate representative arrangements may be organised between the appointed representative and North Coast Local Land Services.

Representatives who are absent without reasonable cause from three successive meetings may be considered to have resigned their seat. In the case of an organisation’s representative, the Regional Weed Committee will approach the member organisation to address the situation.

PART 4 – PROCESSES

13.       Record of Meetings

All scheduled Regional Weed Committee meetings are to be appropriately recorded. Draft meeting records will be distributed to Regional Weed Committee members and a final draft electronically agreed within 2 weeks of the meeting. The final draft of the meeting record will be distributed to Regional Weed Committee members, North Coast Local Land Services Board and staff. The agreed meeting record is for Regional Weed Committee and North Coast Local Land Services use only. Meeting records will be ratified at the following Regional Weed Committee meeting.

A summary of the agreed meeting record will be placed on the North Coast Local Land Services website within two weeks of the meeting and all members will be notified of the website posting by email.

14.       Regional Weed Committee Meetings

  1. The Regional Weed Committee shall meet at least four times in each period of 12 months.
  2. Location of meetings to be central to the region or by mutual agreement between member representatives as determined at the end of each Regional Weed Committee 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. Regional Weed Committee representatives are required to provide a response to all scheduled meetings.
  4. A simple majority of the membership constitutes a quorum for the transaction of the business of a meeting of the Regional Weed Committee.

15.       Decisions

  1. Decisions to be made by consensus of the members.
  2. In the event of disagreement decisions will be determined by a majority of the votes of the representatives of the Regional Weed Committee or of any sub-committee appointed by the Regional Weed Committee present at the meeting.
  3. Each representative present at a meeting of the Regional Weed Committee or of any sub-committee appointed by the Regional Weed Committee is entitled to one vote but, in the event of an equality of votes on any question, the Chair will have the determining vote.
  4. Decisions made at meetings are recorded in the form of resolutions which are binding on the Regional Weed Committee until they are formally amended or repealed. Resolutions, once recorded, take effect immediately.

16.       Dispute resolution

Disputes will be raised with the Chair in the first instance for resolution. Issues that cannot be resolved by the Chair will be escalated to the North Coast Local Land Services Board for resolution. The Board may liaise with the State Weed Committee on specific issues to assist resolution

17.       Outcomes

Outcomes from Regional Weed Committee activities will include:

  • A strong collaborative partnership approach to delivery of Regional Weed Committee 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 Regional Weed Committee,
  • Development and delivery of products and processes including Strategic Weed Management Plans and communication strategies that achieve the objectives of the Regional Weed Committee,
  • Informed collaborative delivery and responsiveness to emerging issues,

18.       Remuneration and Resourcing

Non-government members will be remunerated in accordance with the policy of the Government of the day.

North Coast Local Land Services will identify and provide appropriate resources to support the Regional Weed Committee.

19.       Endorsement

Regional Weed Committee draft Strategic Weed Management Plans and supporting communication, education & awareness programs will be tabled with the North Coast Local Land Services Board for consideration and endorsement.

20.       Review and Evaluation

The Regional Weed Committee will be reviewed and evaluated annually.