Meeting Guidelines and Public Question Time
Council Meeting Procedures
Council meetings are undertaken in accordance with legislation. Information about meeting procedures and other relevant legislation can be found on the Local Government Association Tasmania website: Local Government Association Tasmania
Public Question Time
Thirty minutes is set aside at Ordinary Council Meetings for members of the community to ask questions relating to Council activities. See below for more information about asking a question.
Council provides the opportunity for members of the public to make a statement at Council meetings. Please email your request to email@example.com at least fourteen (14) days before the meeting for consideration by the chairperson.
In order to present a valid petition to Council for consideration it must meet the requirements of Section 57 of the Local Government Act, this includes;
- A petition is to be addressed to ‘The Mayor and Councillors of the Meander Valley Council’ and must contain a clear and concise statement of the subject matter and the action requested of Council.
- The petition may be lodged by presenting it to the General Manager or a Councillor. The wording of a petition must be temperate, respectful and factual, and the action proposed must be within Council’s legal capacity to achieve.
- The petitioners may wish to also provide the background or reason for the petition, and this may be done in successive paragraphs. Where this is provided on a separate page, it must be clearly marked as an addition to the petition.
- The names and addresses of the petitioners are to be printed on the petition and each person shall sign beside their name and address.
- Each signatory page must contain the same statement of subject matter and action requested, as on the face of the petition.
- Every signed page of a petition presented to Council shall be an original and not a photocopy, and each signature shall be placed directly onto the petition page and not be pasted or otherwise transferred.
- A statement specifying the number of signatories; and
- At the end of the petition:
- in the case of a paper petition, the full name, address and signature of the person lodging the petition; and
- in the case of an electronic petition, the full name and address of the person lodging the petition and a statement by that person certifying that the statement of the subject matter and the action requested, as set out at the beginning of the petition, has not been changed.
A petition requesting the Council to hold a public meeting must have enough signatures to equal 5% of the population, or 1,000 signatures, whichever is less. These must be elector signatures, which are ratepayers or residents in the area. The signatures will be crosschecked with the electoral roll.
Questions from the Public
All members of the public can ask questions relating to Council activities. You can ask a question in two ways:
This is the preferred way of asking a question. Asking a question “with notice” allows your question to be included in the Ordinary Council Meeting Agenda that is published five days before the meeting. To ask a question with notice, your question must be received in writing by 5pm, seven (7) days before the next scheduled Ordinary Council meeting.
If we receive your question less than seven (7) days before an Ordinary Council meeting or, you want to ask your question directly in the Ordinary Council meeting (during Public Question Time), then your question is ‘without notice’. Questions without notice will be recorded in the Ordinary Council Meeting minutes that are published after the meeting. To ensure your question is recorded accurately, you will need provide a copy of your question in writing either before or after you have asked it.
How many questions can I ask?
Council will accept up to two questions “with notice” and two questions “without notice” per person, per meeting. The chairperson, (Mayor) also has discretion to accept additional questions if time permits.
Do my questions have to be
The chairperson may choose to answer the question immediately, may require the question to be put on notice in writing to be answered at a later meeting or may refuse to accept the question. Where a question is not accepted, the chairperson must give reasons (eg. A question may be refused if it does not relate to the activities of the Council). Neither questions from the public nor their answers are to be debated.
Submitting Your Questions
Use the Public Questions Form below to submit your questions online.
Customer service office
Call in to our customer service office at 26 Lyall Street Westbury to complete and submit a Question With Notice form. To download a copy of the form, click here
Post your questions to PO Box 102, Westbury Tasmania 7303
In person at an Ordinary Council Meeting
At the beginning of every Ordinary Council Meeting, thirty minutes is set aside for members of the public to ask two questions “without notice”. This is called “Public Question Time”.
At the start of Public Question Time, the chairperson will call for all members of the public who wish to ask a question to raise their hand. You must wait to be invited to stand at the lectern to ask your questions.
We ask that you provide a written copy of the questions to our customer service staff or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can ensure your questions are correctly recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
If you require assistance submitting questions or help using the online form, please phone Council on 6393 5300.