The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication intended only as a guide to social security payments. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia. Community Body (or Community Panel)


The purpose of establishing community bodies (or community panels) is to test whether involving the community assists with decreasing violence and harm in trial locations, and to allow flexibility in the amount of the restricted portion (

The establishment of a community panel is not a mandatory feature of the trial and is an option for each community. The development and operation of a community panel would be specific to each community and would be community led in consultation with the Commonwealth.

The Minister may, by notifiable instrument, authorise a body, whether incorporated or unincorporated, as a 'community body' if the body provides, or intends to provide, services relating to the care, protection, welfare or safety of adults, children or families.

Participants may voluntarily apply to the community body/panel if they seek to reduce the percentage of their restricted portion. Applications will be assessed by the community body/panel according to a set of objective criteria to assess any involvement the applicant may have in harmful behaviour in the community. Applicants will have the option to provide supporting information, should they choose to. Only information relevant to the determination of whether the applicant is contributing to community harm will be collected or considered by the panel in making its decision.

Privacy requirements will comply with the Australian Privacy Principles. Each member of the panel will be required to sign a declaration of confidentiality, confirming they will not disclose any protected information about trial participants.

Each community body, or panel, will develop its own guidelines to ensure good governance and consistent assessment of applications.

Act reference: SS(Admin)Act section 124PE Community body

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