Council meeting FAQs

Why are there two meetings?

The Agenda Briefing Forum (ABF) gives elected members and members of the public an opportunity to ask questions on items in the draft Ordinary Council Meeting agenda.

The Ordinary Council Meeting (OCM) is where elected members vote on the items on the agenda.

Is there an opportunity for the public to ask questions or make a statement? 

Yes, public questions and statements may be made at the beginning and end of both the ABF and OCM meetings. Questions and statements relating to an item on the agenda generally happen at the first public questions or public statement time at the start of the meeting.  Other questions and statements on matters of concern or interest are generally made at the public questions or public statement time at the end.

A separate opportunity exists for presentations to be made relating to specific items on the agenda at the ABF, and for deputations to be made on a matter on the agenda at both the OCM and ABF.

Decisions are made at the OCM. As such if the question or statement relates to a matter that is on the agenda, it is that any public participation made be either at the ABF, or during the first public question and public statement time at the OCM. At the second public question and statement time at the OCM, the decision would have already been made. 

What is the correct protocol for asking questions or making a statement?

A member of the public must state his or her name, and suburb, before asking any question or making a statement. While not required, it is recommended that questions and statement be provided in advance by completing the Public Question/Statement Form.

What if my questions can’t be answered immediately? 

If this occurs, the question may be 'taken on notice' by officers or elected members for a later response. If a question has been taken on notice at the ABF and it relates to a matter on the agenda, the response will be provided both in writing to the person and as part of the ‘Further Consideration’ section in the officer report contained in the OCM agenda. If a question is taken on notice at the ABF relating to general matters, the response will be provided to the person in writing and will be included as part of the next ABFs agenda (held a month later).

Any question taken on notice at the OCM will be provided to the person in writing and will be included as part of the next OCMs agenda (held a month later). 

How long does a member of the public have to make a statement to Council? 

A public statement will be limited to two minutes; and no reply, discussion or question relating to the public statement is to occur, unless otherwise determined by the Presiding Member at the meeting.

Where can I get a copy of the agenda? 

The agendas for both meetings are available for viewing at the Town Administration Building and the Library from the Wednesday prior to the meeting. They can also be viewed on the Minutes and Agendas page of the website.  Copies of the agenda are available in the gallery of the Council chambers, on the night of the meetings.

When are we able to view the minutes? 

The minutes from the Ordinary Council Meeting are available on the Minutes and Agendas page from the Friday following the meeting.