Ask a question at a Council meeting
Public Question Time
Council allocates 15 minutes at the start of each (ordinary) Council Meeting for the reading and response to public questions.
Council meetings are open to public attendance or are available for live-stream viewing via Council's website:
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Public questions must be submitted by 9am the day before the relevant Council Meeting. Submitters do not need to be present in the Council Chamber in order to have their question and response read out at the meeting.
For further information, please speak with the Governance Office on 9599 4444.
Full procedures for Public Question Time
(Meeting Procedures) Division 8, Section 57 – Public Question Time
(1) There must be a public question time at every Council Meeting fixed under Rule 9 to enable members of the public to submit questions to Council.
(2) Sub-Rule 57 (1) does not apply during any period when a Meeting is closed to members of the public in accordance with section 66(2) of the Act.
(3) Public question time will not exceed 15 Minutes in duration.
(4) Questions submitted to Council must be:
(a) in writing, state the name and address of the person submitting the question and generally be in a form approved or permitted by Council; and
(b) sent electronically or delivered to Council’s Corporate Centre by 9:00 am on the day immediately preceding the day of the Council Meeting.
(5) No person may submit more than 2 questions at any 1 Meeting. 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.
(6) The Chair must read to those present at the Meeting a question which has been submitted in accordance with this clause.
(7) The Chair or a member of Council staff nominated by the Chair may read to those in attendance at the Meeting a question which has been submitted in accordance with this Rule.
(8) There is no requirement for a questioner to be present at the meeting in order to have their question and the response read out.
(9) A question may be disallowed by the Chief Executive Officer (or, at the Meeting, by the Chair) if the Chief Executive Officer or Chair determines that it:
(a) relates to a matter outside the duties, functions or powers of Council;
(b) is defamatory, indecent, abusive, offensive, irrelevant, trivial or objectionable in language or substance;
(c) deals with a subject matter already publicly answered, or is a repetitious or vexatious question from the same questioner;
(d) is aimed at embarrassing a Councillor or a member of Council staff;
(e) Council business information;
(f) security information;
(g) land use planning information;
(h) law enforcement information;
(i) legal privileged information;
(j) personal information, which if released would result in the unreasonable disclosure of information about any person or their personal affairs;
(k) private commercial information;
(l) confidential meeting information, being the records of meetings closed to the public under section 66(2)(a) of the Local Government Act 2020;
(m) internal arbitration information, being information specified in section 145 of the Local Government Act 2020;
(n) Councillor Conduct Panel confidential information, being information specified in section 169 of the Local Government Act 2020;
(o) information prescribed by the regulations to be confidential information;
(p) information that was confidential information for the purposes of section 77 of the Local Government Act 1989.
(10) Any question which has been disallowed by the Chief Executive Officer or Chair must be made available to any other Councillor upon request.
(11) All questions and answers must be as brief as possible, and no further questions arising out of anything said will be allowed, and no discussion may be allowed other than by Councillors for the purposes of clarification.
(12) Like questions may be grouped together and a single answer provided.
(13) The Chair may nominate a Councillor or the Chief Executive Officer to respond to a question.
(14) The Chair or the Chief Executive Officer may require a question to be put on notice. If a question is put on notice, a written copy of the answer will be sent to the person who asked the question.
(15) The name of the questioner, the question and the response (if the question and response are read out at the meeting) must be recorded in the Minutes, as an official record of the questions dealt with at the Meeting.
(16) Where the 15 minutes allotted to Public Question Time has expired, the remaining questions and responses will not be read at the Meeting and will not be recorded in the Minutes of the Meeting. A written response will be provided to all questioners.