What are NPW Regional Advisory Committees?
National Parks and Wildlife (NPW) Regional Advisory Committees play an important role in the relationship between the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the community. There are 14 regional advisory committees across New South Wales, plus a special committee for Hartley Historic Site.
- Recommend improvements to the care, control and management of parks and reserves in a particular region.
- Comment on off-park issues, where these are likely to have some impact on parks and reserves or on natural and cultural heritage conservation generally.
- Provide input to development of draft plans of management for parks and reserves in a particular region.
- Liaise with community and interest groups to seek their views on NPWS issues.
- Provide expert advice on technical and specialist matters.
- Provide advice to Regional Managers about pest and fire management programs.
- Give feedback to the community about NPWS issues and initiatives.
- Act as customer councils for the NPWS, reviewing customer needs and the services and facilities provided in parks and reserves.
Hartley Historic Site Advisory Committee
Hartley was established as an administrative centre for the NSW Colonial Government with the construction of one of the States earliest Courts of Petty Sessions in 1837 and today is a rare example of a village containing Australian architecture dating from 1837 to 1945. The village of Hartley is a significant cultural landscape of immense importance to the local community as evidenced by the acquisition and management of a number of buildings by the former Blaxland Shire in the 1960s and the subsequent gazettal of the village as an historic site under the administration of the NPWS in 1972. A Conservation Management Plan for the Site was endorsed by the NSW Heritage Council in 2002, which defines the conservation approach to be taken for the site in respect of the buildings, landscape, moveable heritage, social history, interpretation and adaptive reuse. Hartley Historic Site is part of the traditional lands of the Wiradjeri tribe.
Frequently asked questions
Who are the typical members of a Regional Advisory Committee?
NPW Regional Advisory Committees may comprise between 12 and 17 members. Committee members are usually drawn from:
- conservation groups
- the Aboriginal community
- landowners whose property adjoins a park or reserve
- Rural Fire Service
- the rural community
- recreation, ecotourism or ecologically sustainable interest groups
- people working in education and scientific fields
- local councils.
Read a profile of Far West Advisory Committee member Diana Hoffman.
What skills do you need to be a Regional Advisory Committee member?
Advisory committee members can meet one or more of the following criteria:
- expertise and experience in local government
- expertise and experience in community involvement in conservation
- expertise in Aboriginal Cultural Heritage
- expertise or qualifications in historic heritage
- scientific qualifications in the area of conservation biology, wildlife management or related disciplines
- expertise and experience in rural or regional issues
- expertise and experience in ecotourism or ecologically sustainable visitor use, enjoyment and appreciation of reserves
- expertise and experience in environmental education and community involvement in environmental education
- expertise in non-Aboriginal cultural heritage conservation
- expertise and experience in bushfire management.
How do committees operate?
Regional Advisory Committees may make recommendations to:
The operation of Regional Advisory Committees is covered under the National Parks and Wildlife Act and Regulations. The responsibilities of the current committees and the NPWS are contained in the 2012 – 2017 Memorandum of understanding (10077mounpwsrac.pdf, 72KB).
What is the term of appointment for Regional Advisory Committees?
- The term of appointment is for four years.
- The next term of appointment is from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2017.
How often do Regional Advisory Committees meet?
Generally, Regional Advisory Committees meet four times per year. Agendas are distributed in advance. Meetings are interspersed with field inspections, or at times may be held concurrently with field inspections.
In applying for membership of a Regional Advisory Committee, applicants should be prepared to make a commitment to attend meetings regularly, and to participate in other Regional Advisory Committee activities.
Regional Advisory Committee membership is honorary. No sitting fees are paid, but any out-of-pocket expenses incurred in attending meetings or conducting advisory committee business will be reimbursed by NPWS. Refer to the local region for more information.
Why join a Regional Advisory Committee?
When regional advisory committee members were asked about the value of being on a regional advisory committee, they volunteered a broad range of comments, including:
The satisfaction of having an effective input into plans of management for local national parks, fire management plans and other planning strategies.
Field excursions to view planning issues with NPWS staff.
Being involved in the planning process from the very start, with the pre-draft stages of planning, all the way through community consultation to the completion of the plan.
Being part of a group that liaised with the local community over a difficult issue, gaining an understanding of the issues involved and developing a solution.
Seeing changes to the National Parks and Wildlife Act, which recognised the strategic planning ability of regional advisory committees.
Gaining an increased understanding of NPWS planning processes, getting to know staff and becoming familiar with local national parks.
Consulting with Aboriginal people about cultural heritage conservation.
Gaining an appreciation of how NPWS staff have coped with drought, pests, and fire, often working with park neighbours to tackle problems.
How do I apply to become a member of a Regional Advisory Committee?
The Minister for the Environment considers all applications and determines the members to be appointed to each regional advisory committee. At that stage applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application.
Page last updated: 09 April 2013