Question time at Council meetings

Members of the public are welcome to ask questions or make submissions to Council at Council meetings and Community Focus Committee meetings.

However, this is not a substitute for formal appeal and review systems, formal business procedures, formal Council decisions and any other legal processes required for the proper conduct of Council business.

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.

The following notes are provided as a general guide.

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

It provides members of the public with the opportunity to ask a question or make a submission on any Council related matter. For example, road maintenance, town planning and Council policies.

Submit a question

It is preferable that questions are submitted online in advance of the meeting. 

Questions can be submitted up until 12:00 noon on the day before the meeting.

Submit a question online  

Questions can also be lodged in person at the Council offices or by email to

Question requirements

Questions lodged in advance of a meeting will be dealt with first and in order of receipt.

At the Chairpersons discretion, a person can ask a question or make a submission at a meeting without notice.

Answers to questions will be given at the meeting, if possible, or taken on notice if required. Where a question is taken on notice an answer will be provided within 7 days of the meeting date.

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. Questions lodged in advance of a meeting will be dealt with first and in order of receipt.
  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: Friday, 4 May 2018