The Toowoomba Region Biosecurity Advisory Committee will be established for a term of up to four years expiring 30 June following Queensland Local Government quadrennial elections, unless disbanded earlier by Council resolution.
Purpose of the committee
The committee has been created to provide high level strategic leadership and direction on the following functions and responsibilities:
- To advise Council on policy and programs aimed at improving management of invasive biosecurity matter throughout the region.
- To advise Council on funding options to assist in improving the management of invasive biosecurity matter.
- To advise and assist Council in preparation of a Biosecurity Plan for invasive biosecurity matter pursuant to section 53 of the Biosecurity Act 2014.
- To promote effective management of invasive biosecurity matter in the Region.
- To discuss issues relevant to the management of invasive biosecurity matter impacting on the region.
The Toowoomba Region Biosecurity Advisory Committee will consist of up to twenty-four members, as follows:
- A chairperson - appointed by Council from the Environment and Community Committee - 1 person.
- 2 additional Councillors, appointed by Council (note: Council may appoint alternate member(s) if the appointed Councillor(s) are absent) - 2 people.
- 2 staff members nominated by the Chief Executive Officer - 2 people.
- An appropriate officer nominated by adjoining local authorities - 6 people.
- Appropriate representatives from industry groups and State land management agencies associated with Biosecurity Management - 10 people.
- Up to four representatives from the community - up to 4 people.
Appointment of adjoining local authority, industry and State agency representatives will be made by way of invitation to organisations including, but not limited to, the following:
- Southern Down Regional Council, Goondiwindi Regional Council, Western Downs Regional Council, South Burnett Regional Council, Somerset Regional Council and Lockyer Regional Council
- Biosecurity Queensland
- Condamine Alliance
- South East Queensland Catchments
- Queensland Murray-Darling Committee
- Department of Transport and Main Roads
- Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
Appointment of the community representatives to the Advisory Committee will be made by Council after nominations have been invited in newspapers circulating in the area seeking expressions of interest from residents.
If any member of the advisory committee is absent from two consecutive general meetings without having obtained leave of absence from the advisory committee, the member's continued membership of that advisory committee will be referred to the Chief Executive Officer for determination.
The General Manager, Environment and Community Services Group, or nominee, will provide appropriate advice and administrative support to assist the advisory committee to meet its obligations.
Resignation and replacement of committee members
A committee member may resign at any time by way of written or emailed advice to the chairperson.
When a resignation is received, the resigning member may be replaced as follows:
- Where such resignation is a Toowoomba Regional Council representative (Councillor or officer) Council may appoint a suitable replacement representative.
- Where such resignation is from a member representing an adjoining local authority, industry group or State agency, the nominating agency may at its discretion nominate a replacement representative.
- Where such resignation is from a community representative, Council will fill the vacancy from previously submitted expressions of interest or (should there be no further suitable/available candidates) call for expressions of interest for a suitable replacement, unless the resignation is received less than six months from the maximum term of the committee.
If the chairperson is absent or unavailable to preside, the meeting shall be presided over by one of the two additional Councillors appointed to the advisory committee.
The quorum for advisory committee general meetings will be a minimum of 51% of the membership.
Times and places for meetings
General meetings will be held on the third Friday of the months of September, March and June and on the second Friday of December. Additional meetings and/or field inspections may be scheduled as and when required. Attendance at additional meetings, workshops or field inspections shall be discretionary.
Council will generally be responsible for providing a suitable venue for meetings.
Unless otherwise provided in these terms of reference, the advisory committee will generally adopt informal meeting procedures. Where more formal procedures are required, the procedures described in Council's standing rrders will apply.
- Each member of the advisory committee may vote on business before the Committee, except where the member has a conflict of interest.
- Voting at a meeting must be open and questions decided by a majority of the votes of the members present however, if the votes are equal, the member presiding has a casting vote.
- If a member present fails to vote, the member is taken to have voted in the negative.
Conflict of interest
Where committee members have a conflict of interest, or could reasonably be taken to have a conflict of interest, in an issue being considered or to be considered at the meeting, the member must declare the conflict of interest to the meeting and must not be present while the matter, or a related matter, is being considered by the committee or otherwise take part in any decision of the committee in relation to the matter or a related resolution.
For the purposes of this clause, a member has a conflict of interest in an issue if there is a conflict between the member's private interest and the public interest.
Open to the public
- General meetings are to be open to the public, except where confidential matters are discussed.
- When the committee proposes to close a meeting to the public, the chair will direct all persons, other than members of the committee, to leave the meeting and every person will immediately comply with the direction.
- Non-members may, with the permission of the chairperson, address the advisory committee on any item of business listed on the agenda however, a non-member will not vote on any matter at an advisory committee meeting.
Should matters of a confidential nature be discussed at a meeting, the meeting may be closed to the public in accordance with Section 275(1) of Local Government Regulation 2012.
A person who is or has been a member of an advisory committee must not make improper use of information acquired as a member to:
- gain, directly or indirectly, a financial advantage for the person or someone else,
- harm the local government or
- release information that the person knows, or should reasonably know, is information that is confidential.
The Toowoomba Region Biosecurity Advisory Committee must submit a report of each of its meetings to the Chief Executive Officer, who will list any recommendations for Council’s consideration on an agenda of a meeting of a council committee. Day-to-day contact with Council will be through the Parks and Recreation Services Branch or as otherwise delegated by the Chief Executive Officer.
The advisory committee has the authority to establish special interest sub-groups and working groups as required to address specific matters identified by the advisory committee. These sub-groups (established under the same terms and conditions as the advisory committee) are to report back to the advisory committee.
Review of terms of reference
The terms of reference for this advisory committee shall be reviewed by the sitting committee at its March meeting each year and recommendations regarding desired changes submitted to Council for consideration. Council may review the current terms of reference at any time in response to changing legislative requirements or the business needs of Council.
The Council will not generally authorise payment or provide remuneration to members of advisory committees however, where special circumstances exist, Council may resolve to pay remuneration, reimburse expenses and/or provide facilities to members of advisory committees.
The Council will ensure that all members of advisory committees are covered by appropriate insurances (e.g. voluntary workers, public indemnity).