Public questions and submissions

Question and Submission Time is an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions of the Council at our ordinary Council Meetings.

Members of the public can lodge questions for Council to answer or make a Submission prior to a specific item listed on the Agenda of an Ordinary Council meeting.

These procedures apply for Ordinary Council meetings held wholly in person and hybrid. A hybrid meeting is one where councillors and members of the public may attend either in person or virtually.

Refer to the Council Meetings webpage to see the list of meeting dates, which also indicates if a meeting will be wholly in person or hybrid.

Questions

Members of the public can ask up to three (3) questions at an Ordinary Council meeting.

Lodging a Question

  1. Members of the public wishing to ask a question must submit their question(s) before 12 noon on the day of the meeting.
  2. Questions can be lodged using one of the following methods:

3. Questions that have not been lodged by 12 noon on the day of the Council Meeting will not be accepted, and no questions will be taken from people in attendance on the night of the Council Meeting.

4. A maximum of three (3) questions is permitted per person (with no sub-parts). If more than three (3) questions are received from one person, only the first three questions will be considered.

5. A further question arising out of anything said in response to a question will be allowed. A question may not be split into sub-parts.

6. Like questions will be grouped together and the Chairperson will ask the person from whom the first like question was received to come forward and read their question. A single response will be given by the Chairperson.

7. In the event the person whom submitted the first like question is not in attendance, the Chairperson will read out the like questions, name the persons who submitted like questions and provide a response.

 

Asking a Question

1. If a person submitting a question is not in attendance (including virtual attendance for a scheduled hybrid meeting) during Public Question Time, their question(s) may be read out and a response provided at the Meeting.

2. When invited by the Chairperson, the person asking their question(s) may do so, without taking longer than two (2) minutes in total.

 

3. The Chairperson will not permit any introductory or background statements to be made in relation to their question.

 

4. Questions must be directed through the Chairperson and must not be directed to individual Councillors or Officers.

 

5. The person asking the question must clearly state their name and their suburb.

 

6. The Chairperson may elect to answer the question themselves or request the Chief Executive Officer or any other Officer to respond to a question.

 

The name of the person(s), if like questions are grouped together, the question (excluding introductory or background comments) and the response must be recorded in the Minutes, as an official record of the questions submitted to the Meeting.

Questions not permitted

In accordance with the Council Governance Rules 2020, the Chairperson may disallow a question if it:

  • relates to a matter outside the duties, functions or powers of Council
  • is defamatory, indecent, abusive, irrelevant, trivial or objectionable in language or substance
  • may lead to a breach of Council's statutory obligations
  • relates to a Notice of Motion, Petition or item of urgent business
  • deals with a subject matter already answered
  • is aimed at embarrassing a Councillor or an Officer
  • deals with a matter that should be, or has been, considered as a confidential matter or relates to any matter in respect of which Council may close the meeting to the public under section 66 of the Local Government Act 2020.

No questions directed at an individual Councillor or Officer will be allowed.

Submissions

Members of the public may make a 2-minute submission to a report listed on the Agenda of an Ordinary Council meeting or a Hearing of Submissions meeting (unless not permitted pursuant to the Councils Governance Rules) prior to the item being debated.

Registering to make a Submission

  1. Members of the public wishing to make a submission to an item on the agenda must:
  • register their intention to do so before 12 noon on the day of the meeting
  • be in attendance on the day of the meeting to make their submission (including virtual attendance for a hybrid meeting).

2. Submissions can be lodged using one of the following methods:

Making a Submission

1. Persons wishing to make a submission must be in attendance during the Meeting, either in person or by representative (including virtual attendance if the meeting is a scheduled hybrid meeting).

2. If the person wishing to make a submission or their representative is not in attendance when the Agenda item is to be considered, their submission will not be read out.

3. Submissions must be directed through the Chairperson and must not be directed to individual Councillors or Officers.

4. Submissions must be as brief as possible - not longer than two (2) minutes.

5. The Chairperson may, at their absolute discretion, extend the time for an individual’s submission beyond two (2) minutes.

6. The person making the submission must clearly state their name and their suburb. The name of the submitter will be recorded in the Minutes, as an official record.

No member of the public can make a submission to a Notice of Motion, Petition and Urgent Business presented at a Council meeting.