Regional advisory committees
Appointed by the Minister for Environment and Heritage, under Section 24 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, regional advisory committees provide valuable advice to the Minister, the Secretary and the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council.
Community members are highly valued for their independent advice on policies and plans, activities and proposed activities, draft plans of management, and their community advocacy roles in helping to achieve the objectives of the Act.
There are 8 regional advisory committees across New South Wales, with members appointed in a voluntary capacity. The terms of current members end on 30 June 2022.
Regional advisory committee members
A regional advisory committee consists of at least 12 members, but not more than 17 members.
Committees include at least two Aboriginal people, a person jointly nominated by the Nature Conservation Council of NSW and the National Parks Association of NSW, and other people who, in the opinion of the Minister, have qualifications, experience and expertise in one or more of the following:
- local government
- community involvement in conservation
- Aboriginal cultural heritage
- scientific qualifications (conservation biology, wildlife management or related disciplines)
- rural or regional issues
- agriculture and rural issues (being a person nominated by NSW Farmers)
- ecotourism or ecologically sustainable visitor or tourist use, enjoyment and appreciation of reserves
- environmental education
- non-Aboriginal cultural heritage conservation.
Regional advisory committee administrative regions
Under section 24 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, the Department Secretary is to divide the state into administrative regions. A regional advisory committee is to be constituted for each administrative region.
On 1 September 2018, the administrative regions for the 8 regional advisory committees were aligned with the 8 NPWS Park Operations Branches.
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 benefits such as:
- the satisfaction of having effective input into plans of management for local national parks, 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
- 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.