Public Question Time at Council meetings
Public Question Time will be included at each Council meeting to enable members of the public to address questions to the Council.
All questions (maximum of three per person) must be in writing and submitted via:
Public questions will not be accepted via social media.
The person submitting the question must be present in the public gallery at the time the question is considered and may be asked for clarification by the Chairperson.
All questions must be received by no later than 12 noon on the day before the Council meeting.
A supplementary Public Question Time segment will be included towards the end of the Council meeting to give members of the public the opportunity to ask questions directly related to items on the agenda that may arise during the evening’s proceedings. Questions must be submitted in writing on the public question time form and can be submitted during the Council meeting.
Public questions received during the Council meeting that are not related to a specific agenda report at that meeting will be taken on notice and responded to in writing by the appropriate Council officer, or referred to the next Council meeting for a public response if so requested by the submitter.
Questions and responses will be read out by the Chairperson. The Chairperson may authorise another person for this purpose.
If the person asking the question is not present at the Council meeting, the question will not be read out and a written response will be provided.
If a question is not able to be answered at the Council meeting, a written response to the question will be provided.
It is not permitted for members of the public to enter into debate or discussion, unless clarification is sought in relation to the question.
A question may be refused if it is:
- beyond Council’s powers
- repetitive or has already been answered
- relates to a matter for which the meeting would normally be closed to the public in accordance with Section 89(2) of the Local Government Act 1989
- prejudicial to Council or any other person if answered
- about the personal views or actions of an individual Councillor or Council officer
- about a matter that is the subject of negotiation, litigation or of a commercial nature
- defamatory, indecent, abusive or objectionable in language or substance
If the question is read out at the meeting and a response provided, the questioner’s name, the question and the response will be published in the minutes of the Council meeting, which are publicly available on Council’s website.