What's the difference between an advisory committee and a working group?

Advisory committees will report recommendations to Council bi-monthly at the fourth Tuesday Council meeting of March, May, July, September and November (with no report during the end-of-year recess). Working groups updates will be provided to councillors informally in fortnightly briefing notes. Working groups will only report to Council if advice has been requested by Council resolution. 

Working groups are more informal and action-oriented while advisory committees are more strategic. 

What decisions can advisory groups make?

Committees and working groups are advisory in nature and do not have any decision-making powers. The elected Council comprising 15 Councillors is the decision-making body of Inner West Council. 

If requested by resolution of Council, advisory groups provide recommendations based on a vote of members. The quorum is 50% of members + one. Advisory committees may also vote to make recommendations to Council without requiring a Council resolution.    

When will the advisory groups meet?

Advisory groups will meet three-six times per year. Meetings will be scheduled by members but will not take place on a Tuesday night so as not to clash with scheduled Council meetings. 

Can people be members of more than one advisory group?

Yes, people can be members of more than one advisory group.

Who will chair the advisory groups?

Community members will chair the advisory groups. Training will be provided. 

What is the term of the advisory groups?

Advisory groups will be recruited in September 2018 and function for the length of the remainder of the elected Council term ie. September 2020. The groups will be reviewed at mid-term and end-of-term.

How will advisory groups report?

The elected Council will consider a report on Local Democracy including recommendations from advisory committees at the fourth Tuesday Council meeting of March, May, July, September and November. Council may by resolution request advice from committees, working groups or the business forum. 

How will members be recruited?

A campaign to promote advisory groups to the community and recruit members for a two-year term, through an expression of interest process is expected to take place in September 2018. 

What is the role of Councillors in the advisory groups structure?

Councillors will be welcomed members of all advisory committees. Councillors will not have voting rights, as recommendations of the advisory committees are put up to a meeting of the elected Council.

What are the terms of reference of the advisory groups?

Terms of reference for the advisory committees and working groups will be developed at their first meeting. 

What is outside the scope of this engagement?

  • Council resolved to support independent resident groups, the process for which is currently in development;
  • Council requested a report on the former facilities committees of the previous councils which will be included in the 14 August 2018 report; and
  • Council also has statutory committees including Flood Risk, Traffic and Internal Audit; and a WestConnex Community Liaison Forum that are not part of this engagement.