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Speaking at a Council Meeting

What can I speak on at a Council meeting?

Members of the public who have an interest in an open item on the advertised agenda may request to speak on that item at the Council meeting.

Submitting your request to Speak

Requests must be received no later than midday on the day of the meeting by contacting the Governance Officer by telephone on 1300 367 700 or by completing the online form.

The person requesting to speak must provide their name, address, contact number, who they represent (and must also provide written approval to do so) and the item they wish to speak on.

Where a person wishes for another person to speak on their behalf, they must provide written approval to do so (either in their written submission for any submission being heard under Section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989 or under separate advice to Council prior to the meeting).

The Mayor has the discretion to limit the full time of any one person to speak to a maximum of three minutes, regardless of how many persons (or organisations) they are speaking on behalf of.

The person requesting to speak acknowledges that consent is automatically given to being recorded (if the meeting is to be streamed).

Organisations are required to select one spokesperson to address Council on their behalf.  If an organisation wishes to select more than one spokesperson, it may do so if its request is granted by the Mayor/Chair prior to the commencement of the meeting.

Speaking at Council meeting opportunities is not to be used to present petitions, letters or ask questions (these can be done through alternative mechanisms available).

Addressing the meeting

The following requirements for addressing a Council Meeting apply

  • When addressing the meeting, persons are asked to address the meeting facing the Mayor/Chair at the microphone provided.
  • Speakers are requested to keep their address brief and to the main issues of concern.
  • The time limit allowed for each speaker is three minutes. Only one extension of not more than three minutes can be granted regardless of how many items are being addressed.

Councillors may ask questions of the speaker to clarify a point, however, no debate or commentary is to be provided at this time.

The following protocol applies when addressing a Council Meeting

Any person addressing the Chair must refer to the Chair as:

  • Madam Mayor; or
  • Mr Mayor; or
  • Madam Chair; or
  • Mr Chair

as the case may be.

All Councillors, other than the Mayor, must be addressed as Councillor (name)

All members of staff in attendance must be addressed as Mr or Ms (name) as appropriate or by their official title.

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