Guidelines for Public Participation at Council Meetings
Who is permitted to speak?
A resident (individual or organisational) or their representative
A ratepayer (individual or organisational) or their representative
A representative of a local community organisation
A representative of a statutory authority
On what subject is a speaker permitted to speak?
A non-judicial matter (ie, one pertaining to Council policy or performance), whether or not it is listed on the agenda – unless the speaker has already spoken on the same matter within the previous three months Note: The excluded “judicial” matters are ones where the elected Council acts for the State in exercising adjudicatory powers eg, making determinations on building application and development application matters.
An application or matter before the Council for consideration and/or determination
A matter not deemed “confidential” – in accordance with NSW Local Government Act 1993
What type of presentation is a speaker permitted to make?
One address per speaker per meeting which shall be limited to not more than three (3) minutes
One which is confined to making statements of fact – questions cannot be accommodated (unless by resolution of Council in accordance with Clause 7 of Code of Meeting Practice)
One that may be supported by whatever copies of printed information and images that the speaker can make available – use of audio-visual media cannot be accommodated
There is a limitation of two speakers for any one item, with one in support of the recommendation to the Council, and one speaker in opposition (Clause 13.2.(a) of Code of Meeting Practice); (this has been varied by resolution of the Council).
When can a speaker speak?
During a period allocated at the beginning of the meeting for items listed on the agenda or special permission by the Mayor.
How does a speaker become eligible to speak?
By obtaining a Request to Address Council Meeting form from the Council Offices.
By lodging a completed request form (including precis of their planned address) to the General Manager’s Office by 12.00 noon the Monday of the nominated meeting.
By receiving confirmation that the Request can be accommodated at the nominated meeting – this is subject to scheduling and time limits.