Participating in a Council Meeting

As part of Council’s commitment to Good Governance, Council will provide opportunities for community members to engage directly in meetings.

There are many ways that you can participate in the Council meeting, however there are limits. Council provides opportunities for community members through the following options:

  • Observers at Council meetings
  • Questions on Notice
  • Submissions
  • Petitions
  • Community Briefings

Council’s Community Participation Time Policy governs this part of the meeting and:

  • Provides an avenue within formal meetings for community members to engage with Council prior to a decision being made; and
  • Balance the needs of the community to participate and those of Council to have effective engagement in meetings.

To download a copy of the Baw Baw Shire Community ParticipationTime Policy, go to A-Z Policies and Documents

Our community is welcome to be observers at the following meetings, unless the meeting has been closed to the public:

  • Ordinary Council meetings
  • Special Council meetings
  • Urgent or Emergency meetings
  • Community Briefings

From time to time, Council may invite the community to observe other proceedings and these will be advertised accordingly.

Members of the community present at council meetings are required to behave in a respectful and appropriate manner to ensure that the meetings are not disrupted.

As a courtesy to all present in the meeting, we ask that your behaviour and those you are responsible for is appropriate for the setting. This means:

  • Be quiet during proceedings;
  • Not create a nuisance within the meeting;
  • Be respectful for the protocols of the meeting;
  • Not harass those attending the meeting, including Councillors, officers and other visitors;
  • Not bring in any placards, posters or materials other than personal effects unless prior permission has been sought and granted from the Mayor/Chairperson;
  • Not display any physical violence or verbal abuse to anyone or anything within the meeting;
  • Have mobile phones switched off or on silent, and not be used for recording of meeting proceedings.

A photo or recording of the meeting can only occur with permission from the Chairperson of the meeting prior to the meeting. You need to ensure that consent is given first, and members of the community are not photographed or filmed unless you have their consent also. The only official and correct record of the meeting is the Council minutes.

Members of the public who do not behave appropriately will be warned, and if poor behaviour continues, will then be asked to leave. Procedures and penalties under the Meeting Procedure Local Law will apply.