Council Meeting General Information

 

The Mayor chairs all Council Meetings at which he or she is present. If the Mayor is absent, the Deputy Mayor then chairs the meeting. Councillors, when speaking, will always address the Mayor or the chair of the meeting. This is not out of disrespect to anyone else in the meeting room – it is out of respect to the Mayor and the role of chairperson in these meetings. Ultimately the debating is between the representatives of Council being the Councillors. Everyone else is an observer to the meeting.

Any staff in attendance are usually senior in the organisation and includes the Chief Executive Officer and Directors for each part of the organisation as well as a representative from Governance. These staff are present to provide advice only if required to Councillors in order to assist with them making decisions for the community on matters before it, and to record the minutes of the meetings and other administrative functions for the meeting.

Most matters that go to a Council Meeting are of a strategic nature and require Council to give the direction to the organisation – they are key policies or plans that will affect the majority of the community. Performance reports are also tabled at Council Meetings for the Council to consider how the organisation is tracking against key measures. Council officers submit reports requesting decisions and direction from Council, or for Council’s information.  Planning applications are able to be called into Council by Councillors instead of being determined by planning staff. Council officers provide the Council a recommendation for each report – which Councillors are able to move as a motion, or Councillors are able to move another motion that they feel is in the better interests of the community and longer term goals of the Council and community.

Under the Local Government Act 2020 (the Act), the Council can elect to close a meeting to the public, to hear an item(s) for the following reasons only:

  • the meeting is to consider confidential information; or
  • security reasons; or
  • it is necessary to do so to enable the meeting to proceed in an orderly manner.

These meetings are usually held prior to the Council meeting. If Council resolves to, the motions from the confidential meeting are made public in the open Council meeting.

A Notice of motion is a motion proposed by a Councillor that is on the agenda which a Councillor proposes to move at that meeting.

Councillors are required to provide 48 hours’ notice for any motions that they wish to put forward.

A Councillor may propose a Notice of Rescission provided:

  • it has been signed and dated by at least three Councillors;
  • the resolution proposed to be rescinded has not been acted on; and
  • the Notice of Rescission is delivered to the Chief Executive Officer within 24 hours of the resolution having been made setting out:
    • the resolution to be rescinded; and
    • the meeting and date when the resolution was carried.

A Councillor may propose a General Business Motion, which calls for the presentation of a report to a later meeting, the drafting of a letter, or other business as approved in writing by the Chief Executive Officer and Chair.

A Councillor can only propose a general business motion if the matter relates to business which does not:

Substantially affect levels of Council service; or

  • Establish or amend Council Policy
  • Impact any prior Council resolutions
  • Concern any litigation.
  • Commit the Council to an expenditure of more than $5000, or two days of Officer time.

The proposed motion is tabled in writing before it is moved.

The Chief Executive Officer may propose a General Business Motion to the Council Meeting.

A Chief Executive Officer General Business Motion is determined at the discretion of the Chair, and can be used to introduce urgent information, but where possible will not commit the Council to significant expenditure, establish or amend Council Policy or impact any prior Council resolutions.

A Councillor may propose a Bereavement Motion, which is a Motion called in recognition of the passing of a significant community member. A Bereavement Motion may not be put to a vote and is automatically considered unanimous.

Civic Ceremonies are commonly used for a community group (or a Councillor on their behalf) to present a gift to Council, or to perform a civic duty. Alternatively, Council can include a presentation to a group within this part of the meeting.

Councillors must declare any conflicts of interest – this is defined within the Governance Rules. Councillors will declare their interests at the beginning of the meeting when asked, and then will again declare at the item and remove themselves from discussion and decision making for this item. They will then return after the decision is made.

A Division is a formal count and recording of those for and those against a motion. Any councillor can call a Division. Councillors can change their vote when a division is called; therefore, the motion that the division is called against is only carried or lost after this process.

A Point of Order is an objection made by a Councillor that the motion, amendment or statement currently before the meeting is contrary to the Governance Rules, Councillor Code of Conduct or the provisions of the Act, or is a defamatory, derogatory, irrelevant, or improper statement.

A Suspension of Standing Orders provides for the formalities of the meeting to be temporarily stopped in order to allow full discussion on an issue without formal constraints.

In the event a break is required not for the purpose of discussing Council Business, but for sustenance or relief, a Councillor can call for an adjournment of time. This Motion requires a seconder and the time in which the meeting will be adjourned for must be specified

Council Meeting Minutes Information

All official resolutions both lost and carried, and procedural matters are recorded in the official minutes. Also, any civic ceremonies, absences of Councillors and attendances, committee reports, questions on notice and those who have made a verbal submission in the meeting are recorded.

To finalise the previous meeting cycle, Council confirms that the minutes published from the previous meeting are correct. This provides certification that the previous minutes are a true and correct record of the decisions, which are now legally binding.

The minutes are usually available by 5.00pm on the Friday after the Council meeting on the Agendas and Minutes page. The website currently has minutes from each Council meeting from 2010 onwards. The last minutes from the Council meeting are also made available for viewing in our Customer Service Centres, usually by the Monday after a Council meeting.