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Special Committees - About

Introduction and overview

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This is an overview of the role of Special Committees of Council to make sure the committee is meeting all of its responsibilities.

The committee is part of Council and is governed by the same requirements and legislation as Council. To ensure compliance with the Local Government Act 1989 all committees must:

• Be familiar with the Instrument of Delegation and the powers and responsibilities of the committee
• Publicly advertise all committee meetings at least 7 days prior
• Submit to Council:
- An Annual Return for each financial year
- Minutes from every meeting, and
- GST returns each quarter.
• Notify Council of any changes to the membership of the committee
• Spend funds collected on maintaining the facility
• Obtain Council approval before spending more than $500
• Use Council approved contractors for all works and maintenance at the facility
• Obtain Council approval before applying for grants
• Obtain Council approval before making any alterations or additions to the facility
• Register all volunteers who work with the committee but are not committee members
• Ensure all hirers of the facility are insured and have signed a user agreement for use of the facility
• Ensure the committee meets its emergency management responsibilities
• Direct all enquiries to Council via the committee’s appointed contact officer.

This manual provides advice and information to help committees meet their responsibilities.

About Special Committees of Council

Special Committees of Council are established by Council under Section 86 of the Local Government Act 1989. The committees have been appointed to act ‘for and on behalf of Council’ to manage a number of community facilities within Mount Alexander Shire.

‘Acting for and on behalf of Council’ means the committee is a part of Council and is therefore governed by the same requirements and legislation, including Council’s obligations under the Local Government Act 1989. This includes how committees manage finances, conflicts of interest, obligations under the Occupational Health & Safety Act 2004 and other legislative requirements which are defined in the instrument of delegation.

When a Council delegates its authority under Section 86 of the Local Government Act, this means:

• Lawful actions of the committees are considered actions of the Council.
• Committee members must be appointed by Council.
• Committees can only lawfully do things that have been delegated to them by Council as outlined in an Instrument of Delegation document.
• Committee members are protected by insurance applicable to Council when undertaking their duties.
• Committees of Council cannot be incorporated bodies.

The role of the committee is to:

• Manage, improve, maintain and develop the facility for the overall benefit and safety of users and the community;
• Advise Council in relation to the general development and ongoing maintenance of the facility;
• Be responsible for the day-to-day management of the facility and grounds;
• Manage and report on the finances and other issues as directed by Council;
• Maintain records and administer its affairs in an open and honest manner; and
• Ensure the committee is financially self-sustaining, that is, it has enough income to pay all of its related expenses.

Any specific conditions of appointment for the committee will be detailed in the instrument of delegation.

Instrument of Delegation

An Instrument of Delegation is a legal document that defines the power and responsibility of the committee. All members should be provided with a copy when they are appointed to the committee and become familiar with its contents as it addresses:

• Objectives of the committee
• Appointment of committee members
• Powers, functions and duties of the committee
• Meeting procedures
• Financial management and authority
• Repairs and maintenance responsibilities
• Reporting requirements.

All Instruments of Delegation are reviewed every four years, within 12 months of a Council election. This is a requirement under the Local Government Act.

View the Instruments of Delegation.

For more information about the committee’s Instrument of Delegation contact the committee’s Council contact officer.

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