Australian Marine Parks

Terms of Reference

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


The Australian Marine Parks Advisory Committees will support the collaborative management of Australian Marine Parks and achieve the Director of National Parks’ vision that our parks are healthy, resilient and well-managed, delivering enhanced wellbeing for all Australians.

These committees will be a key mechanism through which to engage and facilitate participation of traditional owners, park users, stakeholders and other government agencies in the management of our marine parks. This collaboration will be critical to achieving the Director of National Parks’ management vision, helping to develop implementation plans that describe management activities and providing an efficient and effective way of developing a better understanding of stakeholder interests and issues around Australian Marine Parks.

The Committee’s activities will complement a wider engagement strategy lead by Parks Australia.


The role of the Australian Marine Parks Advisory Committees is advisory, not regulatory or decision-making. Each committee will support and collaborate with the Director of National Parks to manage Australian Marine Parks by:

  1. providing advice on the development and delivery of implementation plans, including assisting to prioritise management actions and develop performance measures
  2. providing information on traditional owner, stakeholder and park user views, knowledge and needs
  3. contributing to the periodic evaluation and review of implementation plans.

Advisory committees are accountable to the Director of National Parks for meeting their responsibilities. They have no decision-making authority in relation to the functions of the Director of National Parks.


Each advisory committee will comprise:


Members will be appointed by the Director of National Parks.

Members will have a diverse range of expertise, interests and knowledge about the different areas relevant to the management of Australian Marine Parks.

Member capabilities may include knowledge, expertise and/or interest in the following areas: commercial fishing; energy; infrastructure; recreational fishing; science; tourism; transport; sea country and cultural values; conservation; natural resource management; stakeholder communications, education and awareness raising; administration and governance; outcomes-based management; and monitoring and evaluation of public programs.

Members are appointed for their expertise and are not expected to represent wider interests of any stakeholder group.


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


Secretariat support will be provided by Parks Australia staff.


The Chair will invite relevant organisations such as state and/or territory government agencies and indigenous groups to participate as observers, where appropriate.


The Chair may invite experts and/or guest speakers to a meeting where their attendance is considered beneficial or relevant to a particular agenda item.


Members will generally be appointed for an initial two-year term, with the possibility of extension.


Sub-committees may be established as required. This step will be determined by the Chair, in consultation with the Director of National Parks.

Ways of working

Members will be expected to observe the following ways of working:

  1. Respectful — of the traditional owners of the sea, marine park users, stakeholders and government agencies and each other;
  2. Collaborative — seeking to work together with the Director of National Parks and Parks Australia, government agencies, marine park users, traditional owners and stakeholders;
  3. Balanced — focused on protecting the natural, cultural and heritage values of our marine parks, while facilitating their sustainable use and enjoyment benefits;
  4. Outcomes based — considering outcomes for the natural, social-economic, cultural and heritage values of our marine parks when providing advice;
  5. Adaptive — encouraging innovation, accommodating new information about values, pressures and technologies, and allowing for continual improvement; and
  6. Evidence and risk-based — using information to guide advice, including evidence gathered through monitoring, research, evaluation and reporting.

The Terms of Engagement (Annex A) and Conflict of Interest Guidance (Annex B) provide further direction around the Committee’s ways of working.

Decision making

The chair will seek to achieve consensus among Members. Where this is not achievable, the Chair will seek to establish a majority view and dissenting views will be noted in the minutes.

Frequency of meetings

It is expected that the committees will meet twice a year, or as required by the Chair (in consultation with Members).


Following each meeting, the committee Chairs will provide the Director of National Parks with a Chair’s report, consisting of:

  • non-attributive meeting minutes that note dissenting views where appropriate
  • a public communique
  • the latest implementation plan (if relevant).

Members also have the opportunity to contribute their views directly to the Director of National Parks via a written statement. These should be submitted to the Chair and will be appended to the Chair’s report.


Each committee will undertake an operations review every two years. A broader evaluation will also take place in conjunction with the development of each new implementation plan.

Further reading

Download a copy of the Terms of Reference.