Community trustee boards frequently asked questions

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Why were community trustee boards established?

The boards are required under the NSW Greater Sydney Parklands Trust Act 2022.  

We have established boards for: 

  • Callan Park 
  • Centennial Park (including Moore Park and Queens Park) 
  • Parramatta Park (including Wistaria Gardens) 
  • Western Sydney Parklands 
  • Fernhill Estate. 
How many members does each board have and how do they reflect community diversity?

Each community trustee board has at least 7 members including a Chair. 

The members are appointed by the NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces on the recommendation of Greater Sydney Parklands. 

Each community trustee board should: 

  • be representative of community diversity in relation to gender, age and cultural background 
  • include a community representative nominated by each relevant local council 
  • include representation for local First Nations peoples 
  • include a representative who has experience or skills in heritage or heritage management. 

We prepared snapshots for each parkland based on the 2021 Census, parkland visitation and human movement data to understand the diversity of the local community. We will choose members to ensure the community trustee boards are reflective of this diversity. The snapshots are detailed in the appendices of the consultation and engagement framework (PDF, 3.0 MB)

How are community trustee board members selected?

Community members can nominate for a community trustee board.  

Members are selected by a panel and appointed by the NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces according to the approved consultation and engagement framework and on the recommendation of the Trust. The selection panel includes 2 Greater Sydney Parklands Trust board members, one Greater Sydney Parklands agency staff member and an independent panel member. The panel will be gender-equal, with 2 males and 2 females. 

The minister appoints the Chair to a community trustee board. The Chair must have the demonstrated skills and experience to fulfil their role, which includes running meetings, communicating effectively and providing recommendations.

Will I receive remuneration as a community trustee board member?

Under the Act, participation by community trustee board members is voluntary, so the roles are not remunerated. However, this is not a reflection of the value we place on community participation, cultural capital and expertise. 

How much influence do community trustee boards have?

The boards are advisory bodies. Members will be asked to advise on a range of parkland matters and approve plans of management. The advice will contribute to our strategic decision-making, but the boards will not be decision-making bodies themselves. 

There is a direct feedback loop from community trustee boards to the leadership team and the Greater Sydney Parklands Trust Board so the community trustee boards can see how their advice is incorporated into decisions.

Can non-members attend community trustee board meetings?

We can recommend that the community trustee board allow non-members to attend a meeting; for example, when additional or expert advice is required. 

NSW Government members of parliament are welcomed and encouraged to attend meetings if the relevant parkland is adjacent to their electorate. However, they are not eligible to propose motions or vote on recommendations. 

In the case of parklands with more than 3 relevant local councils, a person nominated by a relevant local council as a community representative but not chosen by the minister as a member of the community trustee board, may attend meetings of the board. However, they are not members of the board and are not entitled to participate or vote at a meeting of the board. 

How will Greater Sydney Parklands ensure the transparency of board advice?

We insist that community trustee boards provide openness, accountability and transparency to the public. All members of the community will have access to board meeting agendas and summary reports. These will be published on our website. 

We also report the outcomes of engagement activities to our Board, the leadership team and staff.

Where can I find more information on the legislation that enabled the boards?
How long is board membership for?

A community trustee board member holds office for a period not exceeding 5 years. Members were appointed for 2 years in the first instance. 

Members are eligible (if otherwise qualified) for re-appointment. However, a member cannot hold office for more than 2 consecutive terms. Terms of individual members may be staggered to support board continuity and knowledge exchange. 

How will members be replaced if someone drops out?

Greater Sydney Parklands would appoint someone to fill the vacancy, with a view to appointing previous nominees who missed out on a position. 

How will councils choose a community representative for the community trustee boards?

Councils can choose to nominate in a way they see fit, and this may be different across councils.  

We will advise councils around the types of people they should consider nominating, such as a community member who can speak for and is reflective of the local community. Ultimately, the decision is up to the council. 

Can the terms of reference for the community trustee board change?

The terms of reference is a living document and may be changed as needed. However, changes must not conflict with the legislation. Significant changes may require ministerial approval.

Are community trustee boards the only way to get involved in the future of Sydney’s parklands?

No. We are committed to understanding and responding to the needs and aspirations of all those with a passion for Greater Sydney’s open spaces and parklands.

Our consultation and engagement framework (PDF, 3.0 MB) details the wide range of opportunities the community can get involved and have your say on parkland matters. 

The framework guides the way we consult and engage with park users, visitors and the community regarding the parklands estate and particular parks.