Code of Meeting practice

The elected councillors meet at Council Meetings and Committee Meetings in accordance with Council’s Code of Meeting Practice.

Under section 360(2) of the Local Government Act Council may establish a Code of Meeting Practice.  The Code must incorporate meeting procedures set out in the Local Government Act 1993 and Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 and can incorporate local provisions.  However, in adopting local provisions, the Code must be consistent with the relevant legislative provisions.  Council and Committee meetings must operate in accordance with the adopted Code of Meeting Practice. 

Open Forum

Council conducts an Open Forum session during Council Meetings which is limited to fifteen (15) minutes. A person or persons may address Council on matters not on the agenda of the meeting. Speakers can request to speak by completing the 'Request to Address Council or Committee Meetings' form or make a request to speak during the Open Forum session.  

Speakers are limited to five minutes.  Speakers can speak on matters other than those listed on the evening's business papers, those matters being actioned under Council's complaints handling mechanisms, in dispute or under investigation or a Code of Conduct complaint or investigation.

Who can speak at Council meetings?

Members of the public may attend Council and Committee Meetings and may speak on matters, such as those in general business on the agenda of the meeting.

To speak at a meeting please complete the Request to Address Council Meeting form. Requests to address a meeting must be submitted in writing by 4.00 pm on the day of the meeting to the General Manager. Speakers are limited to five minutes and must provide their name and address to the meeting. Speakers are not permitted to ask questions of Councillors or staff.

Are there restrictions on what I can speak about?

Speakers are limited to a maximum of four (4) on an item and speak on an alternative basis eg commencing with a speaker for, then a speaker against. Additional speakers may be permitted by decision of the Council meeting.

Speakers have a time limit of 5 minutes each and can only speak once in the course of the meeting. Members of the public address Council prior to debate by Councillors.

On occasion, a council or committee meeting may be closed to the public when matters listed in Section 10A of the Code are discussed. This can include legal advices, matters relating to commercial information or trade secret, or personnel hardship of a resident. Section 10A (4) may allow representations by members of the public prior to the meeting closing to the public.

Council records proceedings at Council and Committee meetings, which includes speeches of members of the public. The purpose of taping the meeting is to assist in preparation of meetings minutes, which is the official record of Council and Committee Meetings. Tapes of the proceedings of meetings are destroyed following the expiration of 3 months from date of meeting. It is prohibited to privately record, by visual and audio recording devices, Council or Committee meetings without permission of the Council. 

Conduct of the Meeting

All participants at Council meetings including Councillors, Council staff and members of the public are expected not to make personal comments concerning Councillors, staff or other members of the public or engage in disorderly conduct at a meeting. Acts of disorder are outlined in Section 42 of the Code. Penalties for disorder may include rescinding speaking rights or expulsion from the meeting.

These guidelines relate to Council's Code of Meeting Practice. The Code is made under Local Government Act 1993 and Local Government Regulations. The Code is also available to view at Council's Customer Service Centre.