Australian Marine Parks

Terms of Engagement

Members are bound by the Terms of Reference and Terms of Engagement (Annex A).

The Director of National Parks is responsible for managing Australian Marine Parks under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The Director is supported by Parks Australia, which is part of the Department of the Environment and Energy (the Department).

Australian Marine Parks Advisory Committee Members are subject to the following terms of engagement.

Tenure

A Member is appointed for a term specified in their appointment package – this is generally a two year period unless:

  1. The Member tenders their earlier resignation (in writing) to the Director of National Parks
  2. The Member breaches the terms set out in this document, resulting in their termination (in writing) by the Director of National Parks
  3. The Member’s term of appointment is extended by the Director of National Parks (in writing)
  4. An alternative appointment term is specified (in writing) at the time of appointment.

Proxies

Member proxies are not permitted.

Member duties

Members are responsible for:

  1. Seeking advice where necessary to aid their understanding of matters to be tabled
  2. Participating in committee discussions (including out-of-session items) and providing clear and unambiguous advice to the Chair on matters under consideration
  3. Treating other participants and the Secretariat with consideration and respect, in line with the Code of Conduct for Commonwealth Officeholders
  4. Supporting the decisions of the Chair outside of the committee, and respecting confidentiality.

Chair duties

The responsible Parks Australia manager of each Australian Marine Parks region will chair the relevant committee. The Chair will:

  1. Chair committee meetings and manage the business of the committees
  2. Constructively engage Members and invitees at committee meetings and ensure that clear outcomes are reached in regard to each matter tabled before the committees
  3. Ensure that the committee fulfils the Terms of Reference and advice or guidance provided aligns to the role and purpose of the Committees
  4. Ensure that the Committees observer and follow these Terms of Engagement
  5. Confirm meeting agendas
  6. Undertake committee work planning and liaise with Members
  7. Liaise with the Secretariat on committee matters, particularly meeting organisation and work planning
  8. Work with the Secretariat to ensure Members receive all relevant information from relevant agencies, organisations, stakeholders and are prepared appropriately
  9. Coordinate with other Committee Chairs
  10. Report to the Director of National Parks on the activities of the committee in the form of a short brief summarising key advice and if relevant, dissenting views, copies of the final non-attributable meeting minutes and public communique and any Member statements (if submitted).

Secretariat duties

Secretariat support will be provided by Parks Australia. The secretariat is responsible for the administration and smooth operation of the Committees, including:

  1. Meeting preparation, venue arrangements (including teleconference/ videoconferencing as required)
  2. Liaising: with Members about their required travel and accommodation including the booking and acquittal via the Department’s travel booking system
  3. Ensuring Members are aware of the allowances and acquittal requirements for travel
  4. Ensuring Members are aware of their duties against specific requirements such as conflict of interest declarations and the preparation of committee papers
  5. Calling for agenda items, preparing and circulating the agenda and agenda papers
  6. Meeting operations, including taking meeting minutes and meeting logistics
  7. Assisting presenters with the provision of visual aids equipment, as necessary
  8. Preparation, circulation and finalisation of the meeting minutes and follow up of actions arising.

Meetings

  1. Meetings will be held at least twice a year and additional meetings may be convened by the Chair, with the logistics to be advised by the Secretariat.
  2. Meetings will be held in person where possible. However, the Chair, in consultation with the Secretariat, may arrange a meeting, or support attendance, by telephone, video conference or other appropriate means.
  3. The Chair and Secretariat will make every effort to schedule meetings at a time convenient to all Members, and to provide at least one month notice of confirmed meeting dates.
  4. Members will make every effort to attend meetings and advise the Chair or Secretariat as soon as possible if they are unable to attend a meeting.
  5. Members will make reasonable efforts to prepare for meetings by reading meeting papers prior to the meeting.
  6. A quorum for a meeting is eight Members, unless the Chair provides a special dispensation.
  7. Following each meeting, draft non-attributive meeting minutes and a draft public communique will be circulated to all meeting attendees for comment and clearance. Final meeting minutes will be circulated to all Members and Observers with a standing invitation and invited Guests. The final public communique will be made publicly available on the Australian Marine Parks website.

Compliance with laws and directions

While engaged in the work of the committees, Members must comply with all relevant laws of the Commonwealth and any relevant State, Territory or local authority. When using the Commonwealth’s premises or facilities, Members must comply with all reasonable directions of Commonwealth officers and any policies and procedures relating to workplace health, safety and security in operation at those premises or facilities.

Fees and allowances

The Director of National Parks will arrange and pay for Member travel and accommodation.

Where applicable, a travel allowance (in line with Parks Australia’s staff travel policy) will be paid at a non-senior executive service rate to cover meals and incidental expenses.

In line with Departmental policy, frequent flyer points will not accrue, however, airline status credits will.

Non-disclosure, privacy and probity

  1. Members must treat all information received in the course of their duties as confidential and not disclose that information without approval from the Chair, and in consultation with the Secretariat.
  2. Members must not disclose information, provide comments or participate in any background briefing discussions with media (mainstream media and social media) in relation to the committee’s work. A Member approached by any media for information or a comment or an interview relating to the work of the Committee must direct the media to Parks Media.
  3. Members will comply with the Australian Privacy Principles under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) in relation to any Personal Information (within the meaning of the Act) received in the course of their duties as a Member.
  4. When requested by the Secretariat, Members must return all confidential and personal information received as part of the duties they perform as an appointed Member.
  5. Members will be required to sign a Confidentiality, Privacy and Conflict of Interest Deed.
  6. Members are expected to uphold the Code of Conduct for Commonwealth Officeholders.

Conflict of interest (explained in Annex B)

  1. Members must declare any actual, potential or perceived interest that could improperly influence the performance of their official duties and responsibilities as a member of the committee.
  2. Members have responsibility to speak with each other if they perceive a conflict of interest which someone has not recognised and/or disclosed and let the person who may be conflicted know.
  3. Upon notification, the Chair shall determine what steps are reasonably required to resolve or otherwise deal with the conflict.
  4. If the Chair becomes aware of a potential, apparent or actual conflict of interest arising in exercising his/her functions, the Chair must notify the Secretariat immediately and fully disclose all relevant information relating to such a conflict.
  5. The Secretariat will maintain a Register of Interests and the declaration of interests will be a standing item for all committee meetings. For further guidance around this process and Member responsibilities, please review the guidance at Annex B. This guidance may be updated by the Chair or Secretariat from time to time.

Intellectual property

  1. Subject to paragraphs (b) and (c), all material produced by the committees will be the property of the Director of National Parks.
  2. A Member grants to the Director of National Parks and the Commonwealth a world-wide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, non-transferable license (including the right to sublicense) to use, reproduce, adapt, modify and communicate existing material owned by the Member that is included in material produced by the relevant committee for the purpose of the Director of National Parks making and implementing decision related to the management of Australian Marine Parks.
  3. A Member must obtain, and must also procure for the benefit of the Director of National Parks and the Commonwealth, a world-wide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, non-transferable license (including the right to sublicense) to use, reproduce, adapt, modify and communicate any third party material included in material produced by the relevant committee for the purpose of the Director of National Parks making and implementing decision related to the management of Australian Marine Parks.

Insurance

While performing their duties, a Member will be covered by the Director of National Parks and Officers Liability Comcover insurance policy.

Publication of biographies

Members consent to the public disclosure of their appointment as a committee member, and will be asked to also consent to the publication of a photo and basic biographical details about them.

Meetings

Agendas and papers

Meeting agendas will be drafted by the Secretariat, in consultation with the Chair and Members. The Chair will approve all agenda papers before circulation.

Members can propose agenda items and papers or suggest relevant guests. Suggestions should be sent to the Secretariat, for consideration by the Chair.

Committee agendas and papers will be provided to Members via email at ten days prior to the next scheduled meeting, were practicable. Members can request to be sent hardcopy meeting papers. Hardcopy meeting papers will be provided at meetings if requested.

Late submission of items will only be accepted following approval by the Chair. The Secretariat will provide a level of quality assurance on papers, ensuring consistency in the use of relevant templates, and correction of typographical and grammatical errors.

Process for Meeting Reporting

Meeting minutes will be taken by the Secretariat at every meeting, summarising discussions, noting guidance, advice or recommendations made by the committee and recording any dissenting views. Records will be non-attributable and shall not purport to be a transcript of the proceedings. In addition, key meeting points will be summarised in a draft public communique.

The draft meeting minutes and public communique will be emailed to Members within three weeks following the meeting, where practicable. Members will be given two weeks to lodge comments or corrections – at this time, they may also choose to submit views directly to the Director of National Parks via a written statement. These statements should be submitted to the Chair and will be appended to the Chair’s report.

The final meeting minutes will be circulated to all Members and Observers with a standing invitation and the public communique made publicly available via the Australian Marine Parks website within six weeks of the meeting.

Meeting minutes will be monitored and maintained by the Secretariat as a complete record, as required under provisions of the Archives Act 1983.

Out-of-Session Items

Where practicable, all matters requiring discussion and/or endorsement by the committee should be dealt with as part of a scheduled meeting. By agreement of the Chair, matters and papers may be considered out-of-session. Out-of-session items approved by the Chair will be circulated to Members by the Secretariat. Members are required to respond to the Secretariat within the stated timeframes. An item will be considered endorsed if a majority of members respond in support of the item. All out of session decisions shall be noted at the next scheduled committee meeting and recorded in the meeting records.