Council's Code of Meeting practice specifies that a Public Forum session will be held at each ordinary council meeting, during which members of the public can address council. Members of the public can also address council as a deputation on any matter which is listed on the agenda.
Council asks that individuals register prior to the meeting to speak during the 'Have Your Say' open forum or to make a deputation to council, so that they might be listed on council's meeting agenda.
Council's local policy relating to deputations to council and the 'Have Your Say' open forum are detailed in full on the following pages.
If you would like to register for the "Have your say" session of a council meeting, please telephone at (02) 6778 6300 or contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The conditions on which the public are permitted to make a deputation to council are as follows:
6.8 Deputations – Council and Committee meetings (Local Policy)
The General Manager may permit any member of the public to address Council Meetings as a Deputation on any matter, listed on the agenda before the Committee, except matters associated with the procurement of goods and services, subject to the following conditions:
a) That the duration of a public address be limited to five minutes unless varied by resolution of the Council.
b) Members of the public wishing to address the Committee as a Deputation must have a bona fide interest in the matter as an affected person. They are to advise the General Manager at least 1 clear business day before the meeting that they wish to address the meeting and advise:
i. the issue that they wish to address,
ii. the interest they have in the matter, and
iii. undertake to provide a written summary of the issues to be spoken to, to the General Manager, one (1) clear business day before the Council Meeting (in order to ensure that any new issues are properly recorded for later research, if required).
Members of the public who have a bona fide interest in a matter but are unable to personally address a meeting because of infirmity or disability may request that a spokesperson appear on their behalf.
c) Speakers either for or against a proposal be limited to the first meeting at which the matter is presented for consideration. If, following their deputation, the matter is adjourned to another meeting day the General Manager shall have a discretion whether or not to permit a further deputation on that matter on that second occasion.
d) In relation to each matter, only one deputation shall be permitted unless there are separate interest groups wishing to address Council in relation to the same matter, in which event the General Manager may permit a deputation from each such group.
e) The order of speakers be strictly in order of request and be the nominated speaker only.
f) Approval for late requests to address Council be at the discretion of the General Manager and Mayor.
g) Speakers at meetings of Council do not have absolute privilege. A speaker who makes any potentially offensive or defamatory remarks about another person may be liable for legal action.
h) If a party is to be represented by a lawyer, the party be advised that, during the deputation, the lawyer must not address Council on, or raise, any legal issues or opinions or provide any legal advice. Should they attempt to do so, Council may terminate the deputation.
6.9 “Have Your Say” - Open Forum (Local Policy)
1. A Public Forum session will be held at each Ordinary Meeting of Council. The Public Forum will be held at item 12 of the Order of Business described at Section 3.5.
2. “Have Your Say” sessions will be limited to 4 time slots of 5 minutes duration.
3. Each speaker shall be limited to one 5 minute slot.
4. A speaker may share his/her allotted 5 minutes with others should they wish to do so.
5. Each speaker shall not be limited to one topic.
6. A person wishing to speak to the Council Meeting during the Public Forum session should indicate his/her intention to the Chairperson and upon being called by the Chairperson to take the designated seat, state his/her name and address before proceedings to speak on the topic of choice.
7. Any Councillor may ask a question to seek amplification from a speaker of issues raised during the presentation.
8. Speakers are not to directly ask or pose questions to Councillors or Staff.
9. Council reserves the right to refuse permission for any speaker to address Council in relation to a topic for which that speaker has been allocated time during a previous public forum session.