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Regional Weed Committee Model Terms of Reference

2 October 2015

The purpose of the document is to provide guidance for  Local Land Services regions on the establishment of Regional Weed Committees and provide the basis for consistency of approach across the regions in relation to Terms of Reference development.

Part 1 – Preliminary

1. Name

This Committee will be called the (Name of Local Land Services Region) Regional Weed Committee (RWC).

2. Purpose and establishment

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 2015-2022
  • provide advice to the Board regarding delivery weed functions for the Local Land Services consistent with the Local Strategic Plan
  • to develop innovative and effective regional weed management strategic plans that consider risks, include all land tenure, and major stakeholders in the landscape
  • 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 Local Land Services Board, the RWC and State Weed Committee

The Local Land Services Board is accountable for ensuring that a functional RWC is established and has appropriate representation for their region.

The RWC has autonomy to make decisions that are consistent with the Local Land Services strategic plans. 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 Board as regional weed management plans.

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

An indicative RWC relationship structure is shown at Figure1:

Regional Weeds Committee Structure 

Figure 1: RWC relationships structure.

Part 2 – Objectives

  1. The objectives of the RWC 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 develop and implement regional weed management plans that are based on best available local knowledge, research and technology.
  3. To advise the NSW State Weed Committee on weed matters relating to declaration, control and promotion for the Region.
  4. To prioritise target weed species and to recommend weed policy, declaration, control and promotion to member organisations.
  5. To facilitate the measurement and evaluation of progress in the control of invasive weed species..
  6. To facilitate education, training and the encouragement of persons and organisations in weed management.
  7. To develop 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 programs, and promote resources and information sharing between member organisations.
  9. Liaise, were necessary, with other RWC to develop and deliver weed management plans.
  10. Identify synergies and capitalise on opportunities for sourcing investment and delivery of priority projects. Identify information and research needs and appropriate collaborative actions.
  11. To monitor, evaluate and report on outcomes of the RWC collaborative planning and delivery processes.

Part 3 – Membership

4. Membership generally

The RWC will typically comprise representatives from the following key stakeholder groups listed in Item 4. The 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 organisations will be eligible to become members of the RWC and nominate representatives:

Key stakeholder group

  • Local Land Services
  • Local Control Authorities (LCAs)
  • NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI)
  • Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) (including National Parks and WIldlife Service)
  • Environmental interests - representation will be determined through liaision with the Nature Conservation Council which is represented on the State Weed Committee.
  • NSW Farmers
  • Aboriginal land managers
  • Landcare
  • Public land managers - will be identified in the Terms of Reference of each regional committee.

Members will be appointed to the RWC for a term up to 4 years.

6. Establishment process

The Local Land Services Board will consult with key stakeholders and utilize best practice in the establishment process of the RWC.

It is recognized that Local Government is a significant partner in weed management and the establishment process of the RWC will occur in close liaison with Local Government.

As a general guide a workable membership number for the RWC is considered to be up to 15 members.

The Local Land Services Board will review membership to ensure that the representation address the regional characteristics and remains optimal to achieving the set objectives. 

7. Role of members

Role of individual members of 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.

8. Organisational structure

The RWC will have a chair and vice chair that are elected for one year terms by the membership and endorsed by the Local Land Services Board. Elections will be held at the first meeting of the new membership year.

Local Land Services identified staff will support the RWC 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.

9. 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.

10. Resignation of membership

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

11. Conduct unbecoming

The Local Land Services and/or RWC may expel from the RWC any representative whose conduct is, in the opinion of the RWC, discreditable or injurious to the character or interests of the RWC.

12. Attendance of members

Should the appointed representative be unavailable for a scheduled meeting alternate representative arrangements may be organised between the appointed representative and the Local Land Services.

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

13. Record of meetings

All scheduled RWC meetings are to be appropriately recorded and minutes distributed to RWC members and the Local Land Services Board.

The summary of the meetings will be placed on the LLS website within two weeks of each meeting and all members will be notified of the website posting by email.

14. RWC meetings

  1. The RWC must 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 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. RWC 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 RWC.

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 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 determining vote.
  4. Decisions made at meetings are recorded in the form of resolutions which are binding on the RWC 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 will be escalated to the Local Land Services Board for resolution. The Board may liaise with the State Weed Committee on specific issues to assist resolution

17. Terms of Reference

The RWC will develop and adopt its Terms of Reference within the first three months of operation.

18. 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 regional weed plans and communication strategies that achieve the objectives of the RWC
  • Informed collaborative delivery and responsiveness to emerging issues

19. Remuneration and resourcing

The RWC resourcing will be determined by the respective Local Land Services based on regional requirements.

20. Endorsement

RWC draft regional weed management plans and supporting communication, education & awareness programs will be tabled with the regional Local Land Services Board for consideration and endorsement.

21. Review and evaluation

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

Part 5 – Funding Model

22. Funding

It is recognised that weed management implementation is funded from a range of sources across the stakeholder organisations.

Stakeholder groups have responsibility for their own investment, or funded applications for which they are the proponent, which deliver toward the regional weeds strategies.

The operation of the RWC will require funding to support its roles and functions. The RWC provides services which will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of weed management programs while also reducing the risk of weed impacts for partner organisations.

Within the initial 9 months of operation, the RWC will discuss, identify and adopt a funding model to support their ongoing operation.