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Community Reference Group

Community engagement is an important part of local government operations. The Port Macquarie-Hastings Council Community Reference Group (CRG) was established in December 2009 as a process for the local community to be actively involved in the policy development and decision making of Council.

The CRG does not replace the need for wider community engagement, but provides a valuable tool for council in understanding community points of view when making decisions.

Council seeks to have a membership of the CRG that reflects the community demographics and interest groups as closely as possible. Members of the CRG are recruited from throughout the Port-Macquarie Hastings local government area. Membership is open to all Port Macquarie-Hastings residents and rate payers.

Members will be encouraged to participate in at least four engagements per year. These may be a combination of online surveys, phone surveys, discussion groups or workshops throughout a calendar year.

At present there is no set term of appointment to the CRG.


  • Communication will be primarily conducted by mail and email
  • A Google Group email address has been established for electronic communication directly with panel members. This address will be facilitated primarily by the Community Engagement Officer.
  • Panel members will receive a quarterly electronic newsletter summarising Council’s current community engagements and the proposed timeframes on these. The newsletter content will also be utilised on Council’s website to increase the flow of information regarding the status of activities to the general community.
  • A printed version of all website communication and emails will be distributed to those members who do not have internet access
  • Council reserves the right to disregard any communication that is abusive, or that does not directly address the issue under consideration.
  • Feedback from panel members will be collated and no individual will be personally identified when summaries of panel members views are presented to Council
  • Feedback from Panel members will be considered by council staff when developing policies and plans. Council will take Members feedback into consideration when determining its final policy, decision or plan.


  • Members personal data will be held by the Community Engagement Officer and will not be disclosed to any parties.
  • Members personal data will not be used for any purpose other than participation in the Community Reference Group.
  • Members will be required to advise of any change of address or other contact details to ensure their personal data remains current.

Further information about the Community reference Group can be obtained by contacting the Community Engagement officer at Council.

This page was last updated on: 29 August 2017