Question time at Council meetings

Members of the public are welcome to ask questions of Council in relation to Council Meeting Agenda items.

The Public Question and Submission Time Council Policy and the Meeting Procedures Local Law 2017 specify the process for public question time at Council meetings and these notes are provided as a general guide.

Question time is specifically available for questions rather than forums for discussion.

Public question time provides members of the public the opportunity to ask a question on any Council related matter, such as road maintenance, town planning, Council policies, etc.

Submit a question

It is preferable that members of the public submit their question online in advance of the meeting. 

On-line application forms can only be submitted up until 9:00am on the day of the meeting.

Submit a question online  

Question requirements

Questions lodged online in advance of a meeting will be dealt with in order of receipt. Answers to these questions can be researched prior to the meeting, enabling a more detailed response.

Answers to questions shall be given immediately, if possible, or taken ‘on notice’ if required. Where a question is taken ‘on notice’ an answer shall be mailed within 14 days.

To be fair to others, a limit of 3 minutes per person applies and no more than 2 questions may be asked by a person.

At the Council meeting

  1. The Chairperson will formally invite questions from the public and determine the order in which people may ask questions.
  2. The person asking a question then:
    1. comes forward
    2. states clearly his or her name and
    3. asks his or her question as clearly and as briefly as possible
    4. provides a written copy of the question, together with their name and address to an officer in attendance at the meeting
  3. The Chairperson may then answer the question or refer the matter to another Councillor or to the Chief Executive Officer or to a Director or take the question on notice.
  4. The Chairperson may disallow any question which is considered to be:
    • related to a matter outside the powers, functions or duties of Council
    • a repeat of a question already considered
    • asked to embarrass Council or a Council officer
    • the subject of negotiation, litigation or is of a commercially sensitive nature
    • defamatory, indecent, offensive, trivial or objectionable in language
    • about personnel or industrial matters
    • about contractual matters
    • about matters affecting the security of a member of council staff or their property
    • confidential in nature or about legal advice sought or received by Council
    • any other matter which the Chairperson considers would prejudice Council, a member of council staff, or any person.
  5. The person asking the question is not permitted to enter debate with or directly question Council or Council officers.

Page last updated: Tuesday, 5 December 2017