Public Question Time

Public question time is a section of the Agenda of an Ordinary Council Meeting during which Council may answer questions submitted by members of the public.

It is not designed to take the place of contacting a Councillor or Councillors directly to discuss an issue, or to replace contacting Council’s Customer Services for assistance. Rather, it is designed to allow for clarification of issues of public interest.

How to ask a question

For a question to be considered at an Ordinary Council Meeting, the following requirements must be met:

  • The person submitting the question must include their name, address and contact number
  • A question must not exceed 50 words in length
  • A question must focus on an issue within Councils powers to act
  • A question must not name, allude to, or focus on an individual
  • No more than two questions (including questions asked in parts) are able to be submitted per person for any one Council Meeting.

What won’t be answered at a Council Meeting

Questions that meet one of the following criteria will not be answered at a Council Meeting:

  • Repetitive or has already been answered (either previously by officers in writing or at a Council Meeting)
  • Relates to a matter for which the meeting would normally be closed (Section 89(2) of the Local Government Act 1989)
  • Is prejudicial to the Council or any other person if answered
  • Relates to the personal views or actions of an individual Councillor or Officer
  • Relates to a matter that is the subject of negotiation, litigation or commercial interest/advantage
  • Is defamatory, indecent, abusive, irrelevant, trivial or objectionable in language or nature
  • Is considered trivial or vexatious or it is more appropriate to direct to officers of the Council during normal business hours.

Submitting your question

To submit a question, you can:

You must submit the form before 12 noon on the day of the meeting:

at any service centre
by email to  egovernance@latrobe.vic.gov.au

Any questions received after this deadline that meets the criteria will be held until the next Ordinary Council Meeting for response.

What happens at the meeting?

The Mayor/Chair will ask the Chief Executive Officer to conduct the public question time session.

The Chief Executive Officer will check if the person asking the question is present in the gallery, and if so, will read the question or summarise its contents, and read the response to the question. The Chief Executive Officer can nominate another Senior Staff member to read the response to the question, if appropriate.

If the person asking the question is not present in the gallery, the question and the response is not required to be read out. However the details will be included in the minutes of the meeting and a copy distributed to the person to their nominated address. 

Council has the discretion to seek clarification to the question if deemed necessary; otherwise the person asking the question is not permitted to enter into debate or discussion during this session.

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