Public forums are held from 5.30pm in the Council Chambers at Singleton Council with the Council Meeting commencing immediately after.
Council holds a public forum prior to each Council Meeting, if required, for the purpose of hearing oral submissions from members of the public on items of business to be considered at the meeting.
To apply to speak at a public forum you must complete a speakers request form, or phone Council on T 6578 7290 prior to 4.30pm on the day of the meeting and identify the item of business on the agenda of the Council Meeting that you wish to speak on, and whether you wish to speak ‘for’ or ‘against’ the item.
ADDRESSING THE COUNCIL MEETING
- Speakers are limited to a five minute address. If required, a speaker may be granted an extension of a further two minutes.
- Speakers may only address the Council on the Agenda item that they have applied to speak on and must not digress.
- Councillors may ask questions of each speaker, however, speakers are under no obligation to answer such questions. Answers by the speaker, to each question are limited to two (2) minutes.
- Speakers at public forums cannot ask questions of the Council, Councillors or Council staff.
- The General Manager or their delegate may refuse an application to speak at a public forum.
- Approved speakers will be invited by the Mayor to address the meeting during the public forum.
- No more than four (4) speakers are to be permitted to speak on each item of business on the Agenda for the Council Meeting. Generally, this will be two (2) speakers for and two (2) speakers against each item. If more than the permitted number of speakers apply to speak on any item of business, speakers may be requested to nominate among themselves the persons who are to address the Council on the item of business or the General Manager or their delegate may determine who will address the Council at the public forum. The General Manager may also increase the number of speakers on an item of business if it is deemed necessary.
- Legal representatives acting on behalf of others are not permitted to speak at a public forum unless they identify their status as a legal representative when applying to speak at the public forum.
- Members of the public in the gallery may not approach a Councillor at any time during a meeting.
- Speakers must comply with Council’s Code of Meeting Practice and refrain from engaging in disorderly conduct, publicly alleging breaches of the Code of Conduct or making other potentially defamatory statements.
- Any person requesting to speak at a public forum should note that the forum may be reported about by the media or on social media.
TABLING OF PUBLIC FORUM DOCUMENTS
Approved speakers at a public forum are to register with Council any written, visual or audio material to be presented in support of their address and to also identify any equipment needs by midday on the day of the public forum. The General Manager or their delegate may refuse to allow such material to be presented.
A person or persons may, with the approval of the General Manager, make a presentation for a maximum duration of 15 minutes, to a meeting of the Council.
An application to make a presentation to a meeting of the Council must be received by the General Manager no later than ten (10) business days prior to a meeting of the Council if the presentation is to be included as an item on the agenda for that meeting.
The inclusion of a presentation as an item on the agenda for a meeting of the Council is at the General Manager’s ultimate discretion.
OTHER INFORMATION PROVIDED TO COUNCILLORS
Information or documentation that is not included in the business papers for an item on the agenda for a Council meeting (other than a meeting of Closed Council) may be provided by a Council Officer, a Councillor or member of the public to Councillors for consideration in relation to an item on the agenda.
Anyone can attend a Council meeting and watch the proceedings from the Public Gallery. Members of the public cannot participate in a Council meeting, and must remain silent at all times. Members of the public must remain within the area designated as the Public Gallery and are not permitted to occupy space within the Council Chamber allocated for Councillors, representatives of the media or staff members.
A person in the public gallery may not approach a Councillor at any time during a meeting.
Any act of disorder may result in expulsion from the meeting in accordance with the Code of Meeting Practice.
CODE OF MEETING PRACTICE
The objective of the Code of Meeting Practice is to ensure that meetings of Council are conducted in a consistent, accessible, orderly, effective and efficient manner.
Council's Code of Meeting Practice was adopted by Council at its ordinary meeting on 20 May 2019.