Public participation in meetings

Public participation provides an opportunity for residents to bring important issues directly before Council.

The use of mobile phones is not permitted in the Council Chamber during meetings.

Taping of committee or council meetings by the public is not permitted unless the Chairperson has been notified and approval given by a majority of Councillors present at the meeting.

Specifically, public participation addresses the following key issues:

  • to ensure Council is accessible and open to all members of the community.
  • to encourage the community to take an interest in the welfare of the City.
  • to provide a forum for the community to present opportunities and ideas that could benefit the City and Council's operations.
  • to provide a final opportunity for presenters to bring issues, objections or appeals before Council.

At each Ordinary Meeting, a period of time is allocated for public participation to be conducted.

The presentation during public participation must be restricted to five (5) minutes. At the discretion of Council, an extension of time may be granted.

At the discretion of the Chair, where a participant has previously addressed Council during public participation on an issue, subsequent addresses by the participant on the same issue/s will not be heard.

Participants must state their name and address for the purpose of recording the minutes which will be published on Council's website.

Issues arising from public participation are not to be debated, however Councillors may make statements to the Meeting or ask questions. The presenter is allowed to provide brief answers, and if necessary, Council may invite additional information to be submitted to the relevant Councillor/s. Matters arising from public participation that Council wishes to address may be referred to the appropriate department/Director.

Public participation is not a venue to voice complaints or personal statements against any individual Councillor or Officers; speakers must refer to Council and not individual Councillors or Officers.

The Chairperson may order a person to cease speaking if he considers that presentation to be disrespectful, abusive, outside these procedural guidelines or otherwise not in the public interest.

If a person continues to have disregard for protocols of public participation, the Chairperson may decline the speaker's attendance at any subsequent Council meetings.