Blue Mountains City Council




 

Council Committees

Council can form committees and determine their functions, powers, membership and voting rights.

There are three types of Council Committees:

  • Committees of Council, whose membership is made up entirely of Councillors;
  • Advisory Committees, whose membership may include experts, professionals, government employees, community representatives and Council staff as well as Councillors;  and
  • Section 377 Committees, which are delegated by the Council to perform certain functions of the Council (such as managing a public hall or other property) and have no Councillors or Council staff as members.

A Council committee can be advisory or it can have decision-making powers as delegated by the Council.

A committee can only exercise Council’s regulatory functions under Chapter 7 of the Local Government Act 1993 if all of its members are either Councillors or Council employees. 

Advisory committees are often used by Council to obtain expert advice on complex matters. They usually have the power to make recommendations but not decisions.

The term ‘committees of council’ which is used in the Local Government Act 1993 and in the Local Government Regulation 2005 refers to a committee in which all the members are councillors. The Mayor is automatically a member of each Council committee made up of Councillors only but has a discretion whether to attend the meetings or not (Clause 268(1) of the Local Government Regulation 2005). Also, the Mayor is automatically the chairperson of each of these committees unless he or she does not want to be (Clause 267(1)).

Only committees where all members are Councillors are required to conduct their meetings in accordance with the Council’s Code of Meeting Practice. These provisions include notifying Councillors and making business papers available.

The Government Information (Public Access) Regulation 2009 says that the minutes of any meeting of Council or any Committee of Council (i.e. where all the members are Councillors) is open access information. This means that these minutes must be made available on Council’s website. In the case of any part of a meeting that is closed to the public, the minutes are restricted to the resolutions and recommendations of the meeting.

Current Committees of the Council

NIL

Advisory Committees

  • Audit Committee
  • Blaxland Sports Stadium Management Committee;
  • Bicentenary of the Crossing Committee;
  • Blue Mountains Bushfire Mayoral Relief Fund;
  • Blue Mountains City of the Arts Trust Advisory Committee;
  • Blue Mountains City Council’s Aboriginal Advisory Council;
  • Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Establishment Committee;
  • Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Exhibition Selection Committee;
  • Blue Mountains East Timor Friendship Committee;
  • Blue Mountains Floodplain Risk Management Advisory Committee;
  • Blue Mountains Heritage Advisory Committee;
  • Blue Mountains Sister Cities Committee;
  • Blue Mountains Sports Council;
  • Councillor Reference Group Springwood Civic Centre Upgrade Project.
  • Community Donations Advisory Committee;
  • Glenbrook Erskine Creek Catchment Floodplain Risk Management Advisory Committee; 
  • Hazelbrook & Woodford Creeks Catchments Advisory Committee;
  • South Lapstone, South Glenbrook & South Blaxland Floodplain Risk Management Advisory Committee;
  • Highway Water Issues Working Group;
  • Local Traffic Committee;
  • Mid Mountains Sustainability Reference Group;
  • Premises Review Panel;
  • Public Art Advisory Committee;
  • The Gully Cooperative Management Committee;
  • Waste and Resources Reference Group; and
  • Youth Council Advisory Committee. 

Section 355 Committees

  • Blackheath Community Centre Committee;
  • Lennox Park Tennis Club Committee;
  • Megalong Valley Community Hall & Reserve Committee;
  • Mid Mountains Community Centre Committee;
  • Mount Wilson Village Hall Committee;
  • Warrimoo Tennis Court Complex Committee; and
  • Lawson Community Hall (Mechanics Institute) Committee.

The minutes for the following Advisory Committees are available on the website:

    Blue Mountains City Council Aboriginal Advisory Council at Your Community>Community Services>Aboriginal Services link;

  • Blue Mountains East Timor Friendship Committee at Your Council>East Timor Friendship link;
  • Blue Mountains Sports Council at Your Council>Sports Council link;
  • Blue Mountains Sister Cities at Your Council>Sister Cities link; and
  • Mid Mountains Sustainability Reference Group at Sustainable Living link.

The minutes for the following Advisory Committees are provided to Council meetings and are available in business paper reports to Council meetings:

  • Blue Mountains Heritage Advisory Committee; and
  • Local Traffic Committee.

Minutes which are not available on the website can be accessed by requesting the information from Council either informally or by a formal application under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the GIPA Act).

The informal process can be used for specific information (such as minutes). There is no application fee for an informal request, but there may be charges for photocopying.

If a check of any minutes asked for informally identifies that there are public interest considerations against release of some or all of the information, a formal application would then be required so that the public interest considerations for and against release could be considered. Where the information asked for relates to a third party, a formal application is necessary to assess whether this person, company or agency must be consulted before the information can be released. There is a $30 application fee for a formal application, which covers the cost of the first hour of processing the application. If further time is required, processing charges may apply at a rate of $30 per hour. Formal applications (unlike informal requests) give applicants a legally enforceable right to be provided with access to the information unless there is an overriding public interest against disclosure.

For more information about applications under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (the GIPA Act) see link.