Port Stephens is a thriving and strong community respecting diversity and heritage.
About Port Stephens
Committees and interest groups
Councillors carry out their roles and responsibilities as both members of Council and Council Committees. The Mayor is always the chair of a Council Committee but can delegate this function or resume the function at their discretion. Council's Committees are either entirely comprised of Councillors or include Councillors, community members and/or staff.
Although these groups do not have a formal relationship with Council, they act as lobby groups representing sections of the community. Councillors may attend via invitation or request to attend to discuss Council issues.
Community involvement with Council
Volunteers are the lifeblood of Port Stephens. Without our volunteers, many of our programs and services could not be provided to our community.
As a Councillor, your role is to:
- represent Council on the volunteer committees
- liaise between Council and volunteer committees
- provide guidance and advice to volunteer committees on Council activities, plans, meeting protocol and more.
Volunteer key points:
- Code of Conduct — applies to all volunteers and committees
- Contractors — under delegated authority, 355(c) committees are able to engage a contractor to deliver goods and/or services to undertake the functions of the committee, and as such, are also required to adhere to Council’s procurement procedures.
- Finances — funds administered by 355(c) committees must meet Council's standards of compliance, management and transparency.
- Forums — these provide an opportunity for volunteers to get together with Council staff. Usually, 3 Hall Forums and 3 Park Forums are held each year to discuss work priorities, decision making, site visits, recruitment ideas and volunteer recognition. Councillors are invited to attend.
- Volunteer recognition — we recognise our volunteers through thank you cards, certificates of appreciation, media promotion, our annual volunteer event and the Port Stephens Annual Awards.
In addition to Council's directly engaged volunteers, the Rural Fire Service (RFS) and the State Emergency Service (SES) operate largely on a volunteer base. All RFS and SES volunteers are managed through NSW State Government agencies and interact with Council regularly. Council contracts the RFS to manage rural fire volunteers on its behalf and counts on approximately 450 RFS volunteers. As for the SES, Council provides the facility and is responsible for its maintenance.
Networks and relationships
Some of our strategic alliances include:
- Williamtown Consultative Committee — work with Department of Defence to manage the impact of a defence base in Port Stephens
- Department of Lands — memorandum of understanding to work together on a regional approach to Crown lands in Port Stephens
- Aboriginal Strategic Committee — working in partnership with Worimi, Karuah and Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Land Councils
- Keep Australia Beautiful Committee
- Cancer Council
- Surf clubs
- Sports Councils
- Hunter Water
- Development Industry Reference Group
Celebrating our community
- Raymond Terrace — organised with Raymond Terrace Rotary Club
- Nelson Bay — organised by 355c sub-committee
- Lemon Tree Passage — organised by Lemon Tree Passage Lions Club
- Karuah — organised by Karuah RSL.