Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference define the purpose and structures of the former Yellingbo Conservation Area Coordinating Committee (YCACC).


The Terms of reference below are dated 27/10/15 and endorsed by the Hon Lisa Neville MP, Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water.

  1. In these Terms of Reference

Committee means the Yellingbo Conservation Area Coordinating Committee

Code of Conduct:  means

The Code of Conduct issued by the Victorian Public Sector Standards Commissioner and made under section 61 of the Public Administration Act 2004, published here; and

The Directors’ Code of Conduct and Guidance Notes issued by the Victorian Public Sector Commission (published at http//vpsc.vic.gov.au/resources/directors-code-of-conduct-andguideance-notes/)

 Department:  means the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

DPC Guidelines:  means the Guidelines for the Appointment and Recruitment of Part-Time Non-Executive Directors of State Government Boards and Members of Statutory Bodies and Advisory Committees as issued by the Department of Premier and Cabinet – see the appointment and remuneration guidelines.

Member: means a member of the committee and includes a reference to the Convenor unless the contrary intention is expressed.

Minister: means the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water;

PAA: means the Public Administration Act 2004;

Public sector employee: has the meaning given in section 4(1) of the PAA.

Secretary: means the Secretary to the Department.


Establishment of the committee

2.  The Minister establishes an inter-departmental committee, to be known as the Yellingbo Conservation Area Coordinating Committee, effective from the date of these Terms of Reference.


3.  The functions of the committee are to

Improve coordination and collaboration between land managers and other agencies involved in the management of the Yellingbo Conservation Area (the area); and,

Establish strategic priorities and clear directions for the area to assist land managers, local government and the community, to work in partnership to achieve better environmental outcomes.


4.  To give effect to its functions the Committee will:

Prepare the Yellingbo Conservation Area Action Plan for priority land management programs in the area;

Be a consultation forum for the review of strategic or management plans prepared by represented public land managers for land within the area; and,

Consider and advise represented public land managers on the means by which they may encourage complimentary management on adjacent private land.

Yellingbo Conservation Area Action Plan

5.  The plan prepared by the committee will:

Establish strategic priorities and clear directions for the area to assist land managers, local government and the community to work in partnership to achieve better environmental outcomes in the area;

Articulate the links between the plan and strategic or management plans produced by represented public land managers;

Subject to the endorsement of represented public land managers, establish priority land or biodiversity actions within the area that increase the profile of the biodiversity and ecological values of the area;

Identify resources and partnerships essential to the achievement of the identified priority actions; and,

Prioritise actions by consideration of the most efficient and effective application of public funds.

6.  The committee will review and update the plan every three years.  Three months prior to the expiration of a plan the committee will forward a copy of the proposed successor plan to the Minister, for in principle endorsement.

7.  In preparing or reviewing the plan the committee will consult with reserve users and other relevant stakeholders.


Annual business plan

8.  The committee will prepare a business plan each year, on or before 31 May.

9.  The proposed business plan will include

The nature and scope of the activities to be undertaken by the committee to address the functions specified in the terms of reference;

The performance targets and other measures by which the performance of the committee may be judged in relation to its functions; and,

Estimates of the expenditure required to support the operation of the committee for the financial year.


Annual Report

10.  The committee will report to the Minister within three months of the end of each financial year on:

The committee’s discharge of its functions, as described in these Terms of Reference;

The completion of actions prioritised by the plan; AND,

The committee’s performance against the performance indicators and other measures in its annual business plan.

11.  The Committee is subject to the general direction of the Minister in the performance of its functions.

12.  Each member of the committee is required to comply with these Terms of Reference.

13.  Each member of the committee must at all times act:

In accordance with the codes of conduct; and,

In a matter that is consistent with the public sector values in section 7(1) of the PAA.


14.  The Committee may not enter into any agreements, contracts, employ staff, or hold or expend funds.


15.  The Committee operates for ten years from the date of these Terms of Reference.


16.  The Committee consists of:

A convenor;

Eight agency representatives – one from each of Parks Victoria, Melbourne Water, Yarra Ranges Council, Cardinia Shire Council, Department of Environment, Land, Water and planning, Zoos Victoria, Port Phillip and Westernport Catchment Management Authority; and Trust for Nature; and

Four community representatives (three nominated by Yarra Ranges Shire and one nominated by Cardinia Shire Council).

Term of appointment

17.  A Member is appointed by the Minister for the term of office specified in his or her letter of invitation.

Remuneration and expenses

18.  The Convenor and community representatives are entitled to receive remuneration for their services on the committee as set out in our letter of invitation.

19.  Agency representatives are not entitled to remuneration.

20.  A member – other than any agency representative – who is a public sector employee is only eligible to be paid remuneration in accordance with the DPC Guidelines.

21.  No additional remuneration is payable to a member for time spent in preparation for meetings of the committee.

22.  A member – other than an agency representative – is entitled to be reimbursed for reasonable travel and personal expenses related to their services on the Committee, at the rates that apply to employees of the department.

Removal from office and Vacancies

23.  The Minister, without cause or notice, may remove a member from office at any time.

24.  The office of a member becomes vacant if

a member resigns in writing to the Minister;

a member is removed from office;

a member dies or in the opinion of the Minister, becomes incapable of performing his/her duties;

a member becomes a bankrupt or a person disqualified from acting as a director or acting in management of a company;

a member fails to attend 3 consecutive meetings without the permission of the convenor (in the case of the convenor without the permission of the Minister);

a member fails to attend 75% of meeting over any given 12-month period without permission of the Minister (in the case of the convenor without the permission of the Minister); or,

a nominating body advises that advises the Minister and their nominee, in writing, that it wishes to nominate a new person for appointment as a member to represent them.

25.  Upon a vacancy occurring in the office of a member, the vacancy may be filled by the Minister in accordance with the Terms of Reference.

Meeting Procedure

26.  Meetings of the Committee may be conducted in a manner determined by the Convenor subject to these Terms of Reference or any direction given by the Minister or the Secretary.

27.  The quorum of a meeting consists of consists of a majority of the members present at a meeting.

28.  If the Convenor is absent, or the office of Convenor is vacant, the members present at a meeting may elect from the members present a member to preside at that meeting.

29.  The Convenor, or presiding member, must ensure, as far as practicable, that every member has adequate opportunity to participate in discussions.

30.  Decisions of the committee will be sought through consensus.  Where consensus is not achieved, the Chair may choose to initiate a vote of the Committee, with decisions to be determined by a majority.

31.  Voting decisions can only occur with all members present, or out of session by agreement.

32.  At the commencement of each meeting, the Convenor must enquire of all members whether there is any potential for a conflict of interest to Arise in respect to any item on the meeting agenda or any matter to be discussed and an interest held by a member.


33.  The Convenor must

Ensure that the minutes of each meeting are kept; and,

Circulate the minutes for comment by members before being formally adopted at the next meeting.

Conflicts of interest and other standards of conduct

34.  The Committee must ensure that processes are in place to deal with conflicts of interest that-

Apply to both financial and non-financial interests; and,

Require full disclosure of interests at meetings of the board and the recording of the disclosure in the minutes of the meeting.

35.  The Committee must have regard to the Conflicts of Interest and Duty: A Practical Guide for Directors of Public Entities issued by the Victorian Public Sector Commission (published at http://vpsc.vic.gov.au/html-resources/conflicts-of-interest-and-duty/) in its deliberations, proceedings or meetings.

36.  A member who has a direct pecuniary or private interest in a matter being discussed at a meeting of the Committee must declare the nature of the interest and the potential for there to be a conflict:At the commencement of the meeting; or,If they become aware of an interest during discussions, as soon as possible after becoming aware of the interest.

37.  A member who has made a declaration of a potential conflict of interest may not be present or take part in any discussion of the matter to which the declaration relates unless the Committee agrees otherwise.

38.  A member who has made a declaration of a potential conflict of interest must not vote on the matter to which the declaration relates.

39.  The Convenor or member presiding at a meeting at which a declaration of interest is made must cause the declaration to be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

40.  The Convenor must keep a record of declared interests.  Any member may request and be granted access to this register of interests.

41.  The Committee must ensure that it has a gifts and hospitality policy in place that conforms with the Department’s Model Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Policy (see gifts, benefits and hospitality).

42.  The Committee must ensure that it has a dispute resolution policy in place that conforms with the Department’s Model dispute resolution Policy (see dispute-resolution).

Time Commitment

43.  Members are expected to attend a minimum of 75% of meetings.

Confidentiality and other duties of members

44.  The requirements of section 79(2) & (3) and 81(1) © of the PAA apply to the Committee and its members as if the member is a director of a public entity, and the Committee is a public entity and the board of a public entity for the purposes of these provisions.  The Minister may authorise the Committee to release specified information to third parties.

45.  On the termination or expiry of a member’s appointment, the member must return all documents relating to the Committee to the Convenor


Intellectual Property

46.  The rights to Intellectual property created by the members of the Committee in the course of their duties on the committee, including any reports required under these Terms of Reference, is the property of the State of Victoria.  However, The Minister on behalf of the State grants the Committee a license to use this property as authorised under these Terms of Reference.  In this clause Intellectual property includes legal rights that protect the results of creative efforts including copyright, proprietary rights in relation to inventions (including patents), registered and unregistered trademarks, confidential information (including trade secrets and know how), registered designs, circuit layouts, and all other proprietary rights resulting from intellectual activity in the industrial, scientific, literary or artistic fields but does not include moral rights.


47.  It is the responsibility of each member to ensure that he or she maintains adequate insurance in relation to their activities as a member of the committee

Secretariat support to the Committee

48.  Parks Victoria will provide secretariat support to the Committee, and will act as the liaison between the Committee and the Minister.

Amendments and Revocation

49.  The Minister may amend these Terms of Reference in writing at any time.

50.  The Minister may revoke these Terms of Reference in writing at any time and upon revocation of these Terms of Reference the Committee ceases to exist.