About committees of management

Around 1,500 Crown land reserves in Victoria (also referred to as Public land reserves) are managed by voluntary committees of management, with support and oversight from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). There are around 1,150 voluntary committees of management across Victoria. Most committees manage one reserve while some manage two or more reserves. Types of reserves include public halls, recreation reserves, rail trails, coastal reserves, caravan and camping parks and nature/conservation reserves.

Annual Financial Return

Each year, as part of accountability requirements under the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978, over 1,000 voluntary committees of management are required to provide financial and other information to DELWP through an Annual Financial Return (AFR). The AFR for 2020-21 is due by 30 September 2021.

Download the 2020-21 AFR form (DOCX, 198.4 KB) available for all committees.

The AFR form includes details for how to submit and other guidance. For AFR enquires contact the DELWP Customer Contact Centre on 136 186 or customer.service@delwp.vic.gov.au

Good Governance fact sheets and model policies for committees of management

The Good Governance Fact Sheets and model policies for committees of management provide a summary of key governance information for committees, with links to more detailed information available in model policies and the Committee of Management Guidelines.

Fact sheet topics include:

  • Financial management
  • Developing the reserve
  • Insurance

Model policies are provided for:

  • Gift, benefits and hospitality
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Meetings and decisions
  • Dispute resolution

The Fact Sheets are part of an “Induction Kit” for new committee of management members. They also provide useful summaries of information for long-standing members.

Voluntary committees of management news

The monthly Voluntary Committees of Management news includes a range of information for Crown land reserve committees of management across Victoria.

Celebrating volunteers and reserves

Victoria’s 1,000+ committees of management of Crown land reserves rely on the goodwill and expertise of a wide range of volunteers, including members of committees of management.

A big thanks to everybody involved in committees of management. Whether it’s your first time on a committee, or you’ve been a member for many years, DELWP greatly values your skills, experience, knowledge and the time you devote to being a committee member. Thank you!

In future, we'd like to use this website to publish stories and photos celebrating volunteers, committees and Crown land reserves. Watch this space for details!

Sharing positive stories about Crown land reserves helps educate the broader community about the value of the work done by committees of management. It also helps committees to network and learn from each other.

If your committee would like to share a story with other committees through this DELWP committee of management website. Please get in contact with us at voluntary.committees@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Contacting your DELWP regional office

The Communities and regions section of the DELWP website has information about DELWP regions and locations.

DELWP Land and Built Environment (LBE) teams are responsible for supporting committees of management in each region. Relevant offices for Committees of Management include Geelong, Hamilton, Traralgon, Bairnsdale, Ballarat, Horsham, Seymour, Wodonga, Bendigo, Mildura, Knoxfield (for all of Melbourne metro).

You can also phone the DELWP Customer Contact Centre on 136 186 (ask to be put through to the LBE Team in your part of the State) or email: customer.service@delwp.vic.gov.au (and it will be forwarded to the public land email in your region).

Crown Land Kiosk

The Crown Land Kiosk is a part of DELWP’s internet-based land management information system. The Kiosk is specially tailored to assist Committees of Management with the management of Crown land reserves.

Features include:

  • submitting the Annual Return, including financial details (no more paper forms or envelopes/postage required)
  • storing copies of key documents and required committee policies, such as the Conflict of interest policy
  • maps of Crown land reserve boundaries
  • details of leases or licences
  • a committee's assets register can be maintained through the Kiosk

And much more!  For example, there is a section to submit issues related to reserves for response by DELWP.

All committees are encouraged to make sure they have at least two or three Committee members who are comfortable using the Kiosk.

The Kiosk is designed for individual committee members to have their own unique log-in with a password. Access can be from a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

A half-hour video from a Crown Land Kiosk training session provides detailed guidance for using the Kiosk.

How to use the Victorian Crown Land Kiosk

For further information and to request access to the Kiosk, email: CLIP@delwp.vic.gov.au or contact a DELWP Committees of Management staff member in your region (see contact details above).

Coronavirus (COVID19) information for committees

Please see the Information and resources for land managers website for updates on the responsibilities of land managers in implementing coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

Official information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19), including directions about current public health measures that Committees of Management must follow, is available on the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website.

Committees of Management should check the DHHS website on a regular basis as the situation is very dynamic; advice and directions will change as circumstances change. It is important to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus in the Victorian community.

Committee of Management Guidelines

Victoria's approximately 1,200 committees of management (CoMs) of Crown land reserves perform 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 use 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.

The committees of management guidelines assist committees to manage their reserve.

Full guide

Committees of Management Guidelines (DOCX, 4.9 MB)

Committees of Management Guidelines (PDF, 1.4 MB)

This is the full 2020 guidelines. See the individual chapters below.

01 - About these guidelines (DOCX, 193.5 KB)
  • About these guidelines
  • Other key sources of guidance
02 - About committees of management (DOCX, 211.2 KB)
  • Role, duties and powers of the committee
  • Engaging with the community
  • Role of the department

  • Categorisation framework (see accordion below)
03 - Appointment and end of term (DOCX, 217.9 KB)
  • Appointments process
  • Resignation and removal from office
  • Induction and handover to new committee

  • Induction video, induction kit (see accordion below)
04 - Meetings (DOCX, 235.7 KB)
05 - Standards of conduct (DOCX, 208.9 KB)
06 - Good work practices (DOCX, 910.5 KB)
  • Landfolio self-serve kiosk
  • Benefits and safety of incorporation
  • Legal Advice
  • Working with children checks
  • Dealing with public complaints
  • Recording keeping, and Assets register
07 - Management and business plans  (DOCX, 222.6 KB)
  • Management and business plans

08 – Day-to-day management (DOCX, 205.6 KB)
  • Day-to-day management of the reserve
  • Local council services that can assist
  • Reserve-specific regulations
09 - Developing the reserve  (DOCX, 201.2 KB)
  • Approvals required for developing the reserve
  • Aboriginal cultural heritage, native title and Traditional Owners rights.
10 - Lease and license (DOCX, 210.4 KB)
  • Approvals and processes for issuing leases and licence
  • Crown land leasing policy

  • Leases and licences (see accordion below)
11 - Risk  (DOCX, 260.2 KB)
  • Risk management process plans
  • Step-by-step guide to identifying and managing risk.
12 - Insurance  (DOCX, 230.4 KB)
  • Insurance provided to your committee 
    Insurance your committee may need to purchase
    Incidents and claims – process to follow

  • Including insurance fact sheet, certificates of currency, insurance policy wording (see accordion below)
13 - Employees  (DOCX, 205.5 KB)
  • Obligations of the committee if it employs staff
14 - Hiring contractors (DOCX, 196.7 KB)
  • Process for hiring a contractor.
  • Applies to services, goods, maintenance and development works.
  • Warning about conflicts of interest
15 - Volunteers (DOCX, 199.5 KB)
  • Volunteer attendance register
  • Insurance, privacy and other obligations
  • Attracting and using volunteers
16 - Annual reporting (DOCX, 193.3 KB)
  • Annual return or report to the department
  • Other obligations to provide information.

  • Annual return templates (see accordion below)
17 - Finances  (DOCX, 196.6 KB)
  • Revenue/income and spending
    Sourcing funding
  • Australian Business Numbers.

  • Grants (see accordion below)

Other guidance

Each year the department requests an annual return from committees pursuant to the Crown Land (Reserves) Act. For the 2020-21 Annual Financial Return, committee office bearers (Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer) will receive an email during July 2021 with instructions for completing the Annual Financial Return through the Crown Land Kiosk.

The templates below relate to the 2019-20 Annual Return (originally due in November 2020) and should only be used by committees who haven’t yet submitted their 19-20 Annual Return, and are required to do so prior to submitting their 2020-21 Annual Financial Return through the Crown Land Kiosk.

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 2019-20 (DOCX, 147.9 KB)

Annual return template – category 2

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

Annual Return - Category 2 2019-20

In each region, DELWP staff members provide support and guidance to Committees of Management managing Crown land reserves. The DELWP support role for committees includes:

  • Advice on committee governance and operation.
  • Providing approvals, e.g. consent for new uses and developments, and for leases/licences.
  • Advice on reserve management and planning.
  • Clarifying issues regarding insurance and risk management.
  • Managing the selection and appointment of the committee.
  • Assisting with information about funding opportunities.
  • Running events and celebrating the work of committees.

DELWP also has an oversight role: checking that committees are complying with all the expectations and requirements of DELWP for managing a Crown land reserve.

DELWP aims to ensure that all committees:

  • are provided with a range of tailored knowledge, guidance material and contacts to assist in performing the committee role.
  • feel supported and valued by the DELWP team.
  • are confident that DELWP provides a reliable source of advice on Crown land management issues.

DELWP uses a Committee of Management Categorisation Framework to guide the support and oversight provided for committees of management.

The financial criteria used as a guide to categorisation include:

  • Category 1: Greater than $1 million per year in revenue (or cash balance) or built assets valued at greater than $20 million.
  • Category 2: Greater than $250,000 (and less than $1 million) per year in revenue (or cash balance) or built assets valued at more than $5 million (and less than $20 million).
  • Category 3: Less than $250,000 per year in revenue (or cash balance) and built assets valued at less than $5 million.

Heritage and public land values are also considered along with other regional knowledge, such as land or assets under management being of regional, statewide or national significance, a current major infrastructure development, or other unique circumstances. Some coastal committees are categorised as Category 2 or 1 based on income/assets. All other coastal committees are considered as Category 2 irrespective of income/assets.

For further information about the Committee of Management Categorisation Framework, committees can contact their DELWP regional office committee of management contact person.

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.

Through the Victorian Managed Insurance Agency (VMIA) DELWP provides public liability, professional indemnity and group personal accident (volunteers) insurance for voluntary committees of management. Further details are provided in a fact sheet on insurance as part of the series of Good Governance Fact Sheets for committees of management.

Certificates of currency for these insurances are provided below.

Public liability – certificate of currency

Public & Products liability insurance certificate of currency 2021-22 (PDF, 233.6 KB)

Professional indemnity insurance – certificate of currency

Professional indemnity insurance certificate of currency 2021-22   (PDF, 224.3 KB)

Group personal accident insurance – certificate of currency

Group personal accident insurance certificate of currency 2021-22 (PDF, 515.8 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.

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)

Applying to join Committees of Management

Please complete these forms when applying to join a foreshore and parks reserve committee of management

Committee Application documents


Complete an application to join the Balnarring Beach Foreshore and Parks Reserve Committee of Management:

Merricks Beach

Complete an application to join the Merricks Beach Foreshore Reserve Committee of Management:

Point Leo

Complete an application to join the Point Leo Foreshore and Parks Reserve Committee of Management:


Complete an application to join the Shoreham Foreshore Reserve Committee of Management:

Page last updated: 19/11/21