Recently, the State Government has advised that its Pandemic Plan for the Victorian Health Sector has been upgraded to Stage 3. Until further notice, Council and Committee meetings will proceed without members of the public present. Furthermore, noting the Department of Health’s advice pertaining to close contact, meetings will not exceed 2 hours in duration.
The following changes to meeting procedures have been implemented to continue public participation at meetings whilst maintaining public health and social distancing during a period of pandemic (changes in bold):
Questions must be received by 11:00am on the day prior to the meeting.
Up to 15 minutes will be set aside for Public Question Time at the meeting.
All questions received and responses will be read out at the meeting.
All questions and responses will be recorded in the minutes.
The following procedure and rules apply:
- A maximum of 15 minutes has been allocated for the answering of questions in accordance with this Policy.
- Members of the public are requested to submit their questions in writing on the form provided.
- Questions are limited to two per individual and the person.
- A question may be split into a maximum of two parts only. If more than two parts to a question are received, only the first two parts will be considered. Similarly, if more than two questions are received, only the first two questions will be considered. All parts of the question must be relevant to the same subject of enquiry.
- Questions are to be submitted no later than 11.00am on the business day prior to the meeting.
- Each question at the Ordinary Meeting of Council shall be either read to the meeting by the Chief Executive, or at the discretion of the Chief Executive, a summary of the question shall be made after the Chairperson has acquainted him/herself with its contents and determined that the question is appropriate. Where the Chairperson considers the question to be inappropriate, or deals with matters referred to within Section 89 (2) of the Local Government Act 1989 he/she will read to the meeting the name of the person submitting the question and indicate that he/she does not consider the question to be appropriate. The Chairperson may disallow any question on the grounds that it is repetitive of a question already asked, objectionable, irrelevant, raises an issue of a confidential nature, is asked to embarrass either a Councillor or Council Officer or, exceeds the limitation on the number of questions which may be asked by a questioner.
- The question will be answered by the Chief Executive or the Chairperson where appropriate. Where the answer to a question cannot be provided at the meeting, the Chief Executive will take the question on notice and provide a written response to the questioner.
No debate or discussion of questions or answers is permitted in the Council Chamber.
- In respect of all questions, a written response will be provided.