Victoria's approximately 1,200 committees of management (CoMs) of Crown land reserves perform a valuable community service.

The role of the CoMs under the Crown Land Reserves Act (1978) is to “manage, improve, maintain and control” Crown land reserves that have been set aside for the benefit of the people of Victoria.

The reserves support a broad range of amenities and uses such as public halls, showgrounds, gardens, bushland, caravan parks, foreshores, sporting facilities, playgrounds, swimming pools, walking tracks and rail trails.

DELWP provides the guidance below to assist committees to perform their role. Committees can also contact their local DELWP regional office or phone the customer contact centre on 136 186.

Who is this guidance for?

The guidance on this page is suitable for all committees of management, as set out in the table below.

Small committees that manage a reserve for their local community (category 3)

  • This page is your one-stop-shop.
  • You only need to visit other On Board support modules if a link is given.

Large committees that manage reserves of regional or state-wide significance (category 1 and 2)

  • Your committee has additional obligations  
  • Also see the guidance and model policies in other support modules (e.g. conflict of interest)

Committees that manage a coastal reserve

  • Your committee has additional obligations
  • Also see the guidance and model policies in other support modules (e.g. conflict of interest)
  • Also see the Marine and Coast information.

Incorporated associations (category 4)

Responsibilities and good practice guidelines

The Committees of management responsibilities and good practice guidelines assist committees of management to manage their reserve.

Committees of Management Responsibilities and Good Practice Guidelines

Full guide

Committees of Management Responsibilities and Good Practice Guidelines (PDF, 2.8 MB)

01 Introduction  
(DOCX, 35.2 KB)
  • About committees of management
  • About these guidelines
02 - Membership of a committee
(DOCX, 45.9 KB)
  • How committee members are appointed
  • Role of a committee member
03 - Committee meetings
(DOCX, 61.0 KB)
  • How meetings must be conducted
  • Templates for agendas and minutes
04 - Standards of conduct
(DOCX, 39.7 KB)
  • Conflict of interest, Gifts and hospitality, Code of conduct, Confidentiality, etc.
  • Induction kit for new members
05 - Good work practices
(DOCX, 43.5 KB)
  • Health and safety, public complaints, record-keeping
06 - Regulating the reserve
(DOCX, 32.4 KB)
  • Local council
  • Reserve-specific regulations (issued by the Minister)
Managing the reserve
(DOCX, 51.3 KB)
  • Plans and tools (management, business, financial)
  • Legal obligations
08 - Leasing and licensing
(DOCX, 32.6 KB)
  • Issuing leases and licences
  • Rental rates
09 - Developing the reserve
(DOCX, 30.4 KB)
  • Gaining the required approvals
10 - Risk
(DOCX, 58.6 KB)
  • Risk management process and plan
11 - Insurance
(DOCX, 44.8 KB)
  • DELWP's insurance cover for committees
  • Insurance the committee may need to purchase
  • Incidents and claims
12 - Employment
(DOCX, 33.3 KB)
  • Employees, contractors, volunteers, tenants, agencies
  • Employment-related taxes and on costs
13 - Finances
(DOCX, 37.8 KB)
  • Revenue and spending, fees and charges, mandatory expenses, financial reporting, purchasing contracts, borrowing money, asset management, taxation
  • Financial reporting – annual return to DELWP
14 - Contacts and useful links
(DOCX, 38.5 KB)
  • DELWP regional offices
  • Useful links

Other guidance

Each year the department requests an annual return from committees pursuant to the Crown Land (Reserves) Act.

Annual return template – category 3

This is the annual return template which your category 3 committee fills in and returns to the department each year.

Annual Return - Category 3 2018-19 (DOCX, 147.4 KB)

Annual return template – category 2

For convenience, the template for category 2 committees is also provided here.

Annual Return - Category 2 2018-19 (DOCX, 147.6 KB)

DELWP has developed a Categorisation Framework which sets out the categories of committees that the department oversees and supports on behalf of the minister.

This document is for background interest only. Your committee does not need to read it.

CoMs categorisation framework (2018-19) (DOCX, 1.7 MB)

What category is my committee?

Almost all CoMs are small (category 3) committees. They are elected by their local community and appointed to manage a reserve of local significance. 

Your committee can check with its local DELWP office about which category it falls into.

Unless your committee does any of the following, it will usually be a small (category 3) committee:

  • manages annual revenue of more than $250,000
  • has a cash balance of more than $250,000 current for three consecutive years
  • manages crown land of regional or state-wide significance (as determined by DELWP)
  • manages coastal land
  • has been advised by DELWP that it is a category 1 or 2 committee (e.g. because it is managing a large development)
  • fits the category 4 criteria (e.g. some committees that are incorporated associations).

Grants to assist committees in their work may be available from a number of sources. See the links below for more information.

These guidance notes:

  • should be read by all new committee members
  • will help experienced committee members to keep up-to-date
  • are useful for anyone thinking of joining a committee.

Help from DELWP

Lists the key guidance notes, model policies, guidelines and other resources available from DELWP to assist you and your committee.

Help from DELWP (PDF, 311.3 KB)
Help from DELWP (DOCX, 103.8 KB)

Meetings and decisions

An easy-to-read guide on:

  • how committee meetings must be conducted
  • how decisions must be made.

Meetings and decisions (PDF, 195.2 KB)
Meetings and decisions (DOCX, 112.3 KB)

Conflict of Interest

An easy-to-read guide on:

  • how to recognise conflicts of interest
  • how they must be declared and managed.

Conflict of Interest (PDF, 421.7 KB)
Conflict of Interest (DOCX, 113.9 KB)

Code of conduct (including gifts)

Committee members must maintain certain ethical standards. For example, if a member is offered a gift as a result of their role.

Code of conduct (including gifts) (PDF, 325.3 KB)
Code of conduct (including gifts) (DOCX, 118.3 KB)

Dispute resolution

If a committee has members who cannot work together this needs to be resolved.

Dispute resolution (PDF, 309.4 KB)
Dispute resolution (DOCX, 104.8 KB)

As well as reading the guidance notes, you may find it useful to watch DELWP’s induction video for small committees.

Insurance Fact Sheet for Committees of Management

The department provides public liability, professional indemnity and group personal accident insurance cover for committees. Please refer to chapter 11 of the Committees of management responsibilities and good practice guidelines (above) for details.

Certificates of currency for these insurances are provided below.

Public liability – certificate of currency

Public & Products liability insurance certificate of currency 2019-20 (PDF, 113.8 KB)

Professional indemnity insurance – certificate of currency

Professional indemnity insurance certificate of currency 2019-20 (PDF, 312.0 KB)

Group personal accident insurance – certificate of currency

Group personal accident insurance certificate of currency 2019-20 (PDF, 471.4 KB)

Crown land is leased and licensed to enable communities to use, benefit from and enjoy Crown land including recreational, cultural, sporting and commercial uses.

There are two types of tenure that a committee can issue:

  • A lease is for the exclusive use of part or all of a reserve. It is suitable where large facilities are being used entirely for a particular group, such as social clubrooms.
  • Licences are for non-exclusive use of part or all of a reserve. They are suitable where there are many users of the reserve who need regular access, for example, several sporting clubs that want to use the oval of a reserve at different times.

Lease proposals require the in-principle approval of the Minister (or delegate) before negotiations begin and must comply with DELWP requirements. In the first instance, discuss the details of any proposed lease or licence with the local DELWP office or call the DELWP Customer Contact Centre on 136 186.

The Leasing Policy for Crown land in Victoria 2018 andDELWP Crown Land Leasing Guidelines 2012 provides more information on leasing Crown land, while General Crown Land Licencesprovides more information on licensing Crown land.

DELWP’s publishes newsletters with tips, advice, and news for committees. You can:

Please note that although some of the electronic links in the newsletters may no longer be current the articles will still be of interest.

Caravan and camping parks on Crown land

Additional resources are available for specific types of committees, for example, best practice guidelines for Caravan and camping parks on Crown land.  It is important to note that these guidelines are in addition to the Committees of management responsibilities and good practice guidelines (see above), which are relevant to all committees.

Standing for election to Parliament or a local council

If you are considering standing for election to Parliament, important legal considerations apply because of your public sector appointment as a committee member.  Considerations may also apply if you decide to stand for local council.  See DELWP’s guidance note on this topic.

On Board - Terms - 01 - Standing For Election (PDF, 412.9 KB)
On Board - Terms - 01 - Standing For Election (DOCX, 196.7 KB)

Page last updated: 18/11/19