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 Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA).

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.

Incorporation details

An incorporated organisation means that members have decided to give their organisation a formal legal structure. This legal entity stays the same even if its members change.

Voluntary Crown land reserve committees of management (Voluntary CoMs) are all appointed as Crown land reserve managers through the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 (CLRA)  but the basis of their incorporation as organisations may vary:

  • The majority of Voluntary CoMs (around 85%) are incorporated through the CLRA (referred to below as CLRA Incorporated CoMs)
  • The bulk of the remaining Voluntary CoMs are Incorporated Associations (IA) governed by the Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 and regulated by Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)
  • There are also some that are Companies Limited by Guarantee (CLG) governed by the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) or Cooperatives (governed by the Co-operatives National Law Application Act 2013).

All of these entities are non-profit organisations. Some IAs/CLGs/Cooperatives are also defined as charities and report to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

Annual accountability statements

All Voluntary CoMs are required to provide an Annual Accountability Statement to DEECA regarding the Crown land reserve(s) they manage.

CLRA Incorporated CoMs provide an Annual Return (see more below) that includes detailed financial information. This is due on 30 September each year and pertains to the previous financial year (1 July to 30 June).

The Annual Crown Land Statement required of IAs/CLGs and Cooperatives does not require the same level of financial information in recognition of the fact that these groups provide detailed overall financial information to their "incorporation regulator" (for example CAV or the ACNC for IAs).

Rather, the Annual Crown Land Statement focuses on (1) evidence that information as required by the relevant "incorporation regulator" has been submitted and is up to date and (2) a summary of land management activities for the reserve(s).

The deadline for this Statement varies according to the designated financial year of the organisation (some do calendar rather than financial years).

Annual Return

As well as being a legislative requirement of the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 (CLRA) the Annual Return provides valuable information for DEECA's overview and support role for CLRA Incorporated committees.

The due date for the 2022-23 Annual Return was 30 September 2023.

You can download the DEECA Annual Return 22-23 form (PDF, 209.4 KB).

Committees yet to complete their 22-23 Annual Return are urged to do so as soon as possible.

For Annual Return enquiries email: voluntary.committees@delwp.vic.gov.au

Voluntary committees of management news

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

Stories from Crown Land reserves

Castlemaine historical society

Bacchus Marsh Council Trench Reserve Committee of Management

Bullamwaal Mechanics Hall Stage Curtain

Fawcett Hall  

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

If your committee would like to share a story with other committees through this DEECA committee of management website, please get in contact with us at voluntary.committees@delwp.vic.gov.au. We'd love to get some more stories to publish. Every reserve is unique, with many stories to tell.

You can write the story yourself or if you'd like some help with the write-up, let us know and a staff member will get in touch to discuss options.

Committee of Management guidelines

The 64-page Committee of Management Guidelines (last updated December 2021) provides detailed guidance to voluntary committees of management of Crown land reserves on topics including:

  • Committee responsibilities
  • Aboriginal cultural heritage and Traditional Owner rights
  • Standards of conduct and required policies
  • Financial management
  • Developing the reserve
  • Leases and licences
  • Insurance
  • Other governance and land management matters

It is expected that all committee of management members are familiar with the Guidelines. All new committee of management members should read the guidelines as part of their induction. Long-term committee members should read the December 2021 updated guidelines as they include significant new material compared to previous versions:

Committees of Management Guidelines
(PDF, 1.1 MB)

Committees of Management Guidelines
(DOCX, 1.7 MB)

Model policies for committees of management

As outlined in Section 4 of the Committee of Management Guidelines, committees are required to have policies and procedures on:

  • Gifts, benefits and hospitality
  • Conflict of Interest
  • Meetings and decisions
  • Dispute resolution

For each of these, see Model policies for committees of management for copies of model policies to assist committees. These model policies can be adopted in full or adapted to suit committee preferences.

Induction Kit for committees

The Induction Kit for committees of management for Crown land reserves provides key information for committee members, including new members. A summary is provided in a 32-slide presentation, Induction for Crown land reserve committees of management (PDF, 1.6 MB).

Note: The Induction Kit is designed for committees of management that are incorporated, or awaiting incorporation, through the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 and with income/expenditure of less than $1 million per year (approximately 90% of all committees). Crown land reserve committees of management that are Incorporated Associations or Companies Limited by Guarantee (and the larger “Category 1” committees) receive induction-related material through other means.

The Induction Kit information for committees includes:

  • Committee of Management guidelines (also, see above)
  • Model policies for committees of management (see heading above)
  • Quick Guide Summary of the Code of Conduct (DOCX, 951.9 KB) for Directors of Victorian Public Entities
  • Induction presentation for Crown land reserve committees of management  (see link above)
  • Induction video (see below)
  • Back copies of the committee of management news bulletin, Voluntary committees of management news (see heading above)

In addition to the Induction PowerPoint, the Committee of Management Guidelines and other information referenced above, this induction video (now somewhat out of date) includes useful overview information for new committee members and longer-term members.


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

Insurance for your committee

Through the Victorian Managed Insurance Agency (VMIA) DEECA  provides insurance for voluntary committees of management for Public liability (and Products liability), Professional liability (sometimes known as Professional indemnity) and Group Personal Accident (for volunteers including committee members).

The Certificates of Currency provided below are for the 2023-24 financial year ending on 30th June 2024.

Combined Liability – certificate of currency (includes Public Liability, Products Liability and Professional liability)

Certificate-of-Currency-2023-24-CoM-Combined-Liability (PDF, 161.3 KB)

Group Personal Accident – certificate of currency (for volunteers including committee members)

Certificate of Currency-2023-24-CoM-Group-Personal-Accident (PDF, 149.0 KB)

Further information about insurance for committees is included in Section 9 of the Committee of Management Guidelines. The Guidelines include information about other types of insurance not provided by DEECA (for example, Building and Contents Insurance).

Contacts for committees of management

For day-to-day issues, including changes to committee member contact details, committee appointment processes, or other land management matters, committees of management should contact their regional Land and Built Environment (LBE) teams. Direct emails for these teams are below.

General enquiries related to committees of management can initially be directed to voluntary.committees@delwp.vic.gov.au or by phone to the DEECA Customer Contact Centre on 136 186. In most instances, these enquiries will be forwarded to the appropriate LBE team.

DEECA LBE team contacts

You can contact your regional LBE team by calling the DEECA Customer Contact Centre on 136 186 and asking for the LBE team that covers the geographic area of the committee/reserve you are enquiring about. Visit Regions and locations for more information on these areas.

Crown Land Kiosk

The Crown Land Kiosk is a part of DEECA'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 DEECA.

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 login with a password. Access can be from a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.

A 20-minute video from a Crown Land Kiosk training session provides detailed guidance for using the Kiosk (see below).

How to use the Victorian Crown Land Kiosk

Page last updated: 07/05/24