Public Participation at Meetings

People attending meetings are encouraged to ask questions & contribute to public meetings.

The following applies in line with Council’s Standing Orders Local Law 2011 for managing public question time, address by members of the public and deputations:

Public Question Time

Public Question time is a means by which the public can seek responses from the Council about issues affecting the Town of Bassendean that are of concern to them.  It assists the public to be better informed about the governing of the district and it provides the local government with a mechanism to identify issues of importance in the community.

(1)      A member of the public who raises a question during question time, is to state his or her name and address.

(2)      A question may be taken on notice by the Council for later response.

(3)      When a question is taken on notice the CEO is to ensure that –  

(a)      a response is given to the member of the public in writing; and

(b)     a summary of the response is included in the agenda of the next meeting of the Council.

(4)      Where a question relating to a matter in which a relevant person has an interest is directed to the relevant person, the relevant person is to –  

(a)      declare that he or she has an interest in the matter; and

(b)      allow another person to respond to the question.

(5)      Each member of the public with a question is entitled to ask up to 2 questions before other members of the public will be invited to ask their questions.

(6)      Where a member of the public provides written questions then the presiding member may elect for the questions to be responded to as normal business correspondence.

(7)      The presiding member may decide that a public question shall not be responded to where –  

(a)   the same or similar question was asked at a previous meeting, a response was provided and the member of the public is directed to the minutes of the meeting at which the response was provided;

(b)  the member of the public uses public question time to make a statement, provided that the presiding member has taken all reasonable steps to assist the member of the public to phrase the statement as a question; or

(c)  the member of the public asks a question that is offensive or defamatory in nature, provided that the presiding member has taken all reasonable steps to assist the member of the public to phrase the question in a manner that is not offensive or defamatory.

(8)        A member of the public shall have 2 minutes to submit a question.

(9)        The Council, by resolution, may agree to extend public question time.

Address by the Members of the Public

Members of the public have the opportunity to address Council during meetings.  Public Statements are not recorded in the minutes. Statements raised by members of the public must be regarding items on the agenda.

 (1)  Each person wishing to address the Council on items listed on the agenda will be invited by the presiding member to do so stating their name, address and to which item/s listed on the agenda for that meeting.

 (2)  The presiding member may rule that the subject matter does not relate to the current agenda, and that the Public Address not be heard.

 (3)  The presiding member will determine the order of speakers to address the Council.

 (4)  The public address session will be restricted to 15 minutes unless the Council, by resolution, decides otherwise.

 (5)  Each person is restricted to 1 address of up to 3 minutes unless the Council, by decision, determines that they may speak for no more than a further 2 minutes.

 (6)  The presiding member may suspend or adjourn the public address session at any time, and any person addressing the Council will resume their seat when called upon to do so by the presiding member.

 (7)  The presiding member shall suspend the public address session if the person making the address resorts to personal denigration of any person or persons.

 (8)  The presiding member may comment on the address given or call upon a Councillor or Officer to comment. They may decline and if the subject matter of the address has not been considered by the Council, no substantive comment shall be offered. Any comments shall not exceed 3 minutes.

 (9)    Any breach of the standing orders may result in the person being prohibited from addressing the meeting at which the breach occurs.

Deputations

People with a specific interest in a matter may be invited to attend the meeting where that matter is being considered, to present their point of view, if they so wish, or people may have made a request to provide a deputation in writing and have it approved by the Mayor or CEO.  Again, these deputations will also be relating to matters on the agenda.

(1)        Any person or group wishing to be received as a deputation by the Council is to either  – 

(a)         apply, before the meeting, to the CEO for approval; or

(b)        with the approval of the presiding member, at the meeting, address the Council.

(2)        The CEO may either –   

(a)       approve the request and invite the deputation to attend a meeting of the Council; or

(b)       refer the request to the Council to decide by simple majority whether or not to receive the deputation.

(3)        Unless the Council resolves otherwise, a deputation invited to attend a Council meeting –  

(a)        is not to exceed 5 persons, only 2 of whom may address the Council, although others may respond to specific questions from members;

(b)        is not to address the Council for a period exceeding 10 minutes without the agreement of the Council; and,

(c)        additional members of the deputation may be allowed to speak with the leave of the presiding member. 

(4)        Any matter which is the subject of a deputation to the Council is not to be decided by the Council until the deputation has completed its presentation.

Council will record the meeting for minute taking purposes only and cannot guarantee the accuracy or the quality of this recording and it cannot be assumed to be a complete record of proceedings (Standing Orders Local Law - Item 6.17). 

It should be noted that the minutes are not a verbatim record of the meeting, and public statements are not recorded, and questions are summarised as per Standing Orders Local Law - Section 6.7. Questions provided in writing may be ruled as normal business correspondence and dealt with by the Administration subsequent to the meeting as per Standing Orders Local Law -Section 6.7 (6).