As with all websites, your forum will require a disclaimer, privacy rules and copyright statement.
As long as your site has the legal disclaimers on it your Council cannot be held liable if defamatory or offensive statements are posted on your site. Nevertheless if you are allowing statements to go straight up on to the site you should check them regularly to make sure there is nothing in breach of the rules up, and you should take down offensive posts swiftly to avoid offending other forum members or attracting negative publicity. You can also ban a forum member from the forum if the persistently post material in breach of the rules.
See E-Forums: Sample rules and disclaimers for a standard forum’s disclaimer.
You will be collecting information from people via their registration on the forum. You should comply with the usual privacy guidelines of your Council and the State and Federal governments. AGIMO has some information on its site about privacy rules http://www.agimo.gov.au/practice/mws/privacy.
See E-Forums: Sample rules and disclaimers for a standard forum’s privacy statement.
You will have to make a statement on your website noting that by posting on your forum, the forum participant is permitting you to reproduce their material within certain parameters.
See E-Forums: Sample rules and disclaimers for a standard forum’s copyright statement.