Committees and advisory panels
We have a number of advisory committees and panels, with some established under s355 of the Local Government Act 1998.
The 355c Aboriginal Strategic Committee consists of representatives from both the Aboriginal community and Council. Representatives from both the Karuah Local Aboriginal Land Council and the Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council are represented on the Committee.
The role of the committee is to:
- provide advice in relation to issues of concern between Council and the Aboriginal community;
- promote a positive public image with respect to issues for Aboriginal people in Port Stephens;
- provide a consultative mechanism with respect to development issues;
- improve relations between the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal community of Port Stephens;
- exchange information between the Aboriginal community and Council on issues affecting Aboriginal people;
- promote mutual awareness and respect for the cultures of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities; and
- promote an increased awareness of the needs of Aboriginal communities and to assist with the development of programs to address those needs where possible and appropriate.
The Aboriginal Strategic Committee also provides advice on applications to the Aboriginal Projects Fund grant program to fund local projects that empower Aboriginal people. Most recently, the program has supported cultural awareness activities in schools and improved educational outcomes for the Aboriginal students.
Additionally, Council hosts an annual dinner for 355c committee members, their guests, Councillors and Council staff. The evening features great entertainment as well as a special guest speaker, discussing their experiences and achievements.
View the Yabang Gumba-Gu or Road to Tomorrow agreement.
Our Audit Risk and Improvement Committee's (ARIC) role is to enhance the corporate governance of Council by providing independent oversight, review and advice on our governance, risk, control and compliance framework.
Council established the first Audit Committee in February 2010 as an advisory committee of Council. In August 2023, Council resolved to rename the Committee to the Audit Risk and Improvement Committee in line with the Office of Local Government's Guidelines for Risk Management and Internal Audit for Local Government in NSW.
The committee reports to Council and provides independent advice and recommendations on matters relevant to the committee's charter. It also acts as a forum for communication between our Council, General Manager, senior management, internal audit and external audit.
The ARIC comprises the independent chairperson, 2 independent external members and 1 non-voting councillor representative. They are:
- External independent representative: Chairperson, Mrs Deborah Goodyer
- External independent representative: Mr Frank Cordingley
- External independent representative: Mr Shaun Mahony
- Councillor Leah Anderson
Audit Committee Charter
Audit Committee Minutes
- Audit Committee Minutes - 25 May 2023
- Audit Committee Minutes - 23 February 2023
- Audit Committee Minutes - 6 October 2022
- Audit Committee Minutes - 28 July 2022
- Audit Committee Minutes 26 May 2022
Audit Committee Annual Report
Please contact us if you want to view minutes from previous years.
The 355c Australia Day Committee includes members from around the local government area who coordinate activities for annual Australia Day celebrations in the Port Stephens region.
Annual Australia Day celebrations are held at Raymond Terrace, Nelson Bay, Lemon Tree Passage and Karuah.
Purpose: To advise Port Stephens Council on the management plan required to protect the Worimi cultural and spiritual heritage and enhance the environment of the Birubi Point Crown Reserve and Birubi Point Aboriginal Place.
Birubi Point Cultural Heritage Advisory Panel held its first meeting in May 2014. The Panel advises Port Stephens Council on the requirements to protect the Worimi cultural and spiritual heritage and the enhancement of the environment of the Birubi Point Crown Reserve and Birubi Point Aboriginal Place.
The Panel convenes three times per year to oversee the design and development of an Aboriginal Place Management Plan for Birubi Point Crown Reserve and Birubi Point Aboriginal Place. The Panel reviews draft documents and provides advice on matters relating to cultural heritage conservation. The Panel recommends proposals that protect the cultural and spiritual heritage, improves the landscape, manages user requirements and improves maintenance of the Birubi Point Crown Reserve and Birubi Point Aboriginal Place. The Panel considers and endorses an Annual Works Plan that forms the basis for the allocation of funds received from the Worimi Conservation Lands Board of Management Section 142 Agreement for Birubi Point Crown Reserve and Birubi Point Aboriginal Place.
Membership of the Panel comprises:
- Port Stephens Council (3 representatives)
- Registered Aboriginal Owners of the Worimi Conservation Lands (3 representatives)
- Worimi Conservation Lands Board of Management (2 representatives)
- Worimi Local Aboriginal Land Council (2 representatives)
- Birubi Point Surf Life Saving Club (1 representative)
- Anna Bay community (1 representative)
- NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (1 representative)
- NSW Crown Lands (1 representative)
Our Communications and Engagement Strategy (2022 – 2027) was adopted by Council on 13 December 2022. The new strategy outlines our strategic priorities: community engagement, community communication and media and public relations. A key objective under Strategic Priority: Community Engagement is to ‘Implement a Communications and Engagement Advisory Group to provide input into how we will engage with stakeholders for major projects’. The Communications and Engagement Advisory Group (CEAG) will work with Council staff to determine who Council should communicate with and seek input from, when communication and feedback should be sought, and what engagement methods and communication channels they should use for Council’s major or complex projects. For this group, major or complex projects are those with significant social impact on the community.
The group will operate under the CEAG Terms of Reference (PDF 759 KB). The Terms of Reference also outlines the membership of the group, how often they will meet and the selection process.
The Port Stephens Environmental Advisory Group was established to provide community representation for consultation, advice and advocacy on environmental matters in Port Stephens. The Group has been established in accordance with a 2023 Council resolution. The key objectives of this group is to:
- Provide community representation for consultation, advice and advocacy on environmental matters, including biodiversity, climate change and sustainability, in Port Stephens.
- Share and preserve knowledge, network and build environmental understanding across Port Stephens.
- Identify opportunities for community based environmental projects across Port Stephens.
- Promote the importance of the environment within the community.
The group will operate under the Environmental Advisory Group Terms of Reference (PDF 2.4 MB).
- Environmental Advisory Group Meeting Agenda – 30 August 2023 (PDF 274 KB)
- Environmental Advisory Group Meeting Agenda – 8 November 2023 (PDF 166 KB)
The Port Stephens Heritage Advisory Group was established to provide community representation for consultation, advice and advocacy of heritage matters in Port Stephens. The Group has been established in accordance with a 2023 Council resolution. The key objectives of this group is to:
- To provide community representation for consultation, advice and advocacy on heritage matters in Port Stephens.
- Share and preserve knowledge, network and build local heritage understanding across Port Stephens.
- Identify opportunities for community based heritage projects across Port Stephens.
- Promote the importance of heritage within the community.
The group will operate under the Heritage Advisory Group Terms of Reference (PDF 3.4 MB)
- Heritage Advisory Group Meeting Agenda – 29 November 2023 (PDF 120.7 KB)
- Heritage Advisory Group Meeting Agenda – 23 August 2023 (PDF 155.9 KB)
The Homelessness Stakeholder Advocacy Group (HSAG) was established to support a coordinated approach to addressing the impacts of homelessness in Port Stephens.
Evidence shows that success can be achieved through collaboration at all levels of government and the community sector. The Group was established in accordance with a 2023 Council resolution. The key objectives of this group is to:
- Provide Council with strategic advice on homelessness and related issues that can be dealt with at a Local Government level.
- Work with Council to address local issues, develop options and assist in identifying preferred solutions as part of Council’s decision-making process
- Advocate community views on homelessness issues
The group will operate under the Homelessness Stakeholder Advocacy Group Terms of Reference. The Terms of Reference also outlines the membership of the group, how often they will meet and the nomination selection process.
- HSAG Meeting Minutes – 26 April 2023 (PDF 183 KB)
The Local Traffic Committee Meeting is held on the first Tuesday of every month in the Council Administration Building.
All regulatory controls on roads must be approved by the Local Traffic Committee (LTC). The LTC is primarily a technical review committee which advises Council on matters referred to it. The LTC cannot approve regulatory controls on State Roads (e.g. Pacific Highway, Nelson Bay Road), which are under the care and control of Roads and Maritime Services (RMS). Any requests made to Council for regulatory controls on State Roads will be referred to (RMS) for their action and response directly to the applicant.
The LTC consists of the following Members:
- Port Stephens Highway Patrol
- Roads and Maritime Services
- Local Members of NSW Parliament — Member for Port Stephens and Member for Newcastle
- Bus companies.
Technical representatives inspect items requested by Community Members for consideration by the Local Traffic Committee. Regulatory controls that are considered by the committee include: parking controls (e.g. no stopping, no parking and bus zones), give way and stop controls and all line marking.
Anyone can make application to the Local Traffic Committee to review or suggest improvements to our roads and road related areas. Written correspondence should be addressed to PO Box 42, Raymond Terrace NSW 2324 or [email protected]
The attached minutes are a record of the resolutions made by the Local Traffic Committee meeting in the last 12 months and the latest minutes are prepared and uploaded to this section of the website the day following adoption by Council.
2023 Meeting Dates:
- Tuesday 7 February 2023
- Tuesday 7 March 2023
- Tuesday 4 April 2023
- Tuesday 2 May 2023
- Tuesday 6 June 2023
- Tuesday 4 July 2023
- Tuesday 1 August 2023
- Tuesday 5 September 2023
- Tuesday 3 October 2023
- Tuesday 7 November 2023
- Tuesday 5 December 2023
- Local Traffic Committee Minutes - 3 October 2023
- Local Traffic Committee Minutes - 5 September 2023
- Local Traffic Committee Minutes - 1 August 2023
- Local Traffic Committee Minutes - 4 July 2023
- Local Traffic Committee Minutes - 6 June 2023
- Local Traffic Committee Minutes - 2 May 2023
- Local Traffic Committee Minutes - 4 April 2023
- Local Traffic Committee Minutes - 7 March 2023
- Local Traffic Committee Minutes - 7 February 2023
- Local Traffic Committee Minutes - 6 December 2022
- Local Traffic Committee Minutes - 1 November 2022
- Local Traffic Committee Minutes - 4 October 2022
The 355c Strategic Arts Committee is an advisory committee which assists with the formulation of policies and plans on arts and culture, including the My Incredible Place Arts Events and Cultural Strategy (PDF 3.8MB)
The Strategic Arts Committee also provides advice on public art and more broadly, the committee plays a role in building and maintaining relations with other community members interested in local cultural development.
It also identifies future training opportunities that might support the work of local organisations involved in the planning and delivery of cultural related activity.
The committee consists of up to ten people who have an interest in art and cultural issues, particularly in the areas of strategic direction and policy. It is intended that membership be representative of the broader community of Port Stephens in terms of age, cultural practice and location.
People interested in joining the committee are invited to complete a Volunteer Nomination Form and return it to Council. Depending on current vacancies, the applicant may be invited to attend a meeting of the Strategic Art Committee to discuss their nomination and interest in the committee's work.
The committee meets 4 times a year and the meeting and related administrative activities are coordinated by Council's Community Development and Engagement Unit.
Council's Youth Advisory Panel has been operating since October 2013, with a vision to build a stronger understanding of the aspirations and needs of young people within local government and the wider community.
The primary aims of the panel are to:
- reflect the interests of local young people (between the ages of 12 to 24 years)
- raise awareness and advocate on issues affecting local young people
- support the participation of young people in local community events and activities
- act as an advisory group for Council's planning activity and any community organisations wishing to develop plans and activities for young people in the region
- allow for interaction between young people with diverse interests and backgrounds
- promote information sharing and a positive image of young people
- promote and participate in leadership initiatives, both local and state-wide.
Update on Youth Advisory Panel activities:
Youth Advisory Panel Membership:
If you are interested in becoming a member please contact Council.