There are more 8 000 Victorians who make a substantial contribution to Victoria as part of a committee of management (CoM). Through their volunteer labour, they maintain and oversee almost 1 500 Crown land reserves.
Crown land reserves are areas of public land set aside for the benefit and enjoyment of Victorians. Reserves managed by CoMs vary from sporting grounds, parks and gardens that play important roles in their local communities to historic buildings and international tourist precincts such as Phillip Island Nature Reserve and the Great Ocean Road.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is responsible for managing Crown land reserves on behalf of the Minister for the Environment. For specific reserves, it delegates the land management to CoMs, but it remains responsible for the reserves and the assets on them.
This report follows up on a performance audit we tabled in February 2014, Oversight and Accountability of Committees of Management. Our 2014 audit found that the governance of CoMs required significant improvement and that the former Department of Environment and Primary Industries was not targeting its support to reserves with higher risk profiles. Consequently, it had not taken sufficient steps to ensure that CoMs are managing Crown land reserves appropriately.
This follow up audit looked at what progress DELWP has made in responding to the 11 recommendations from our 2014 audit. We did not make any new recommendations as the 2014 recommendations remain relevant.