Working with elected representatives

Communicating with elected representatives

RDA Committee Chairs, Deputy Chairs, members and employees should work cooperatively with their regions local, jurisdictional and federal government elected representatives, as well as those elected to both houses of the Australian Parliament. RDA Committees will be an effective conduit between governments and regional communities, and will provide advice to governments about the strengths and weaknesses of regional Australia.

Attendance at meetings

The RDA Chair may invite their region’s local, jurisdictional and federal elected representatives to attend an RDA meeting each year. These representatives will only have observer status when attending the RDA meeting. In some cases, RDA Committee business may need to be considered privately and, in such cases, the Chair should request any observers or guests absent themselves from the meeting for the duration of those discussions.

Elected representatives do not have an active role in the decision-making processes of the Committee and must not attempt to influence proceedings. They should not seek to give, and nor should RDA Committees accept, direction on matters relating to the Committee's work.

RDA Chairs should note that conflict of interest procedures for elected representatives are to be observed. Elected representatives are required to declare any personal or professional conflict with any item on the agenda. In cases where a conflict is identified, the person who declared the conflict will not receive papers or background information on that item, nor will they participate in the discussion on that item.

Advice on outcomes of consultations

It would be reasonable for RDA Chairs to meet annually with their elected representatives (this may occur more frequently with local government representatives) to update them on the Committee's work. This meeting could also provide an opportunity for the Committee to present a copy of its Annual Report or other public document. Advice and information provided to elected representatives should be in writing and refer only to publicly available material.

Further guidance can be found at Section 6 of the Better Practice Guide [DOC: 1.27 MB].