Protocols for people wishing to address Council
The following information provides excerpts from the relevant sections of the Code of Meeting Practice, which was adopted by Wentworth Shire Council on 17 April 2019.
Making application to speak at a council meeting
To speak at a council meeting a person must first make an application to the council via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications to speak at the public forum must be received by the close of business two (2) business days before the date on which the public forum is to be held, and must identify the item of business on the agenda of the council meeting the person wishes to speak on, and whether they wish to speak ‘for’ or ‘against’ the item. A person may apply to speak on no more than two (2) items of business on the agenda of the council meeting.
- Legal representatives acting on behalf of others are not to be permitted to speak at a public forum unless they identify their status as a legal representative when applying to speak at the public forum.
- The general manager or their delegate may refuse an application to speak at a public forum. The general manager or their delegate must give reasons in writing for a decision to refuse an application.
- No more than three (3) speakers are to be permitted to speak ‘for’ or ‘against’ each item of business on the agenda for the council meeting.
Registration of written, visual or audio material is required
Approved speakers at the public forum are to register with the council any written, visual or audio material to be presented in support of their address to the council at the public forum, and to identify any equipment needs two (2) business days before the public forum.
- The general manager or their delegate may refuse to allow such material to be presented.
Time limit applied
Each speaker will be allowed three (3) minutes to address the council. This time is to be strictly enforced by the chairperson.
Questions to councillors not permitted
Speakers at public forums cannot ask questions of the council, councillors or council staff.
When addressing the council, speakers at public forums must comply with this code and all other relevant council codes, policies and procedures. Speakers must refrain from engaging in disorderly conduct, publicly alleging breaches of the council’s code of conduct or making other potentially defamatory statements.
Modes of address
- If the chairperson is the mayor, they are to be addressed as ‘Mr Mayor’ or ‘Madam Mayor’.
- Where the chairperson is not the mayor, they are to be addressed as either ‘Mr Chairperson’ or ‘Madam Chairperson’.
- A councillor is to be addressed as ‘Councillor [surname]’.
- A council officer is to be addressed by their official designation or as Mr/Ms [surname].