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Questions for Council Meetings

The Question Time section of a Council Meeting is one of many ways that Council is committed to communicating with and hearing the views of the community to inform its decision making.

How can I submit question(s) to a Council Meeting?

Online Form
Community Members can register a question(s) for a scheduled Council Meeting that takes place on the third Wednesday of month at 2.00pm by completing an online Register your question(s) form by 9.00am on the Monday before the Council Meeting.
Register a Question/s

Hardcopy Form
Persons without access to a computer can contact the Council Business Unit on 5662 9200 in advance to obtain a copy of the prescribed hard copy form.
Questions can be submitted in hard copy format on the prescribed form to Council’s Reception (9 Smith Street, Leongatha) or by the commencement of the Council Meeting in the receptacle at the Governance Officers table.

What are the closing date/time for submitting questions for Council Meetings?

Please register your online and hard copy question(s) for a scheduled Council Meeting by 9.00am on the Monday before a Council Meeting. Questions submitted ahead of a Council Meeting may allow for a response to be prepared and included in that Meeting.

On the day of the Meeting, questions must be received prior to the commencement of the Council Meeting and placed in the receptacle at the Governance Officers table. Questions received after the commencement of the Meeting will be considered at the next Council Meeting.

What happens to my question(s) once they are submitted?

For those who submit an online form an automatic acknowledgement is sent. For those who submit question(s) in the Council Meeting, an acknowledgment of their acceptance can be accessed directly from the Minutes by the Friday following a Council Meeting.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) determines if question(s) are accepted. The following is considered when assessing questions:

  • Related to a matter beyond or outside the powers of Council;
  • Trivial or frivolous;
  • Defamatory, indecent, abusive, offensive, irrelevant or objectionable in language or substance;
  • Derogatory or designed to embarrass a Councillor, a member of Council staff or a member of the community;
  • Related to a matter already considered and resolved upon by Council;
  • Is aimed at embarrassing a Councillor or member of staff;
  • Relates to personnel matters;
  • Relates to industrial matters;
  • Relates to the personal hardship of any resident or ratepayer;
  • Relates to contractual matters;
  • Relates to proposed developments;
  • Relates to legal advice;
  • Relates to confidential information as defined under the Act;
  • Relates to matters affecting the security of Council property;
  • Illegible, vague, not make sense or is not a question; and/or
  • Relates to any other matter which Council considers would prejudice Council or any person.

In the Council Meeting the CEO will note that they have received and accepted questions from the public. The CEO retains the discretion, in consultation with the Mayor, to not refer questions to Council Meetings if there is a more effective or appropriate way to respond to the matters raised.

When do my question(s) get answered?

  • Answers to questions will be read out at the Council Meeting by the CEO or Mayor.
  • Question(s) that are submitted in the Council Meeting to the Governance Officer are usually taken on notice, and responses provided at the next Council Meeting.
  • Questions pre-submitted (by 9.00am Monday prior to the Council Meeting) may have answers provided which will be included in the Minutes.
  • Responses to Questions are accessed directly from Minutes by the Friday following a Council Meeting.

What kind of question(s) can I ask?

Question(s) made to Council must meet the following criteria and the assessment criteria referred to above:

  • A person may submit a maximum of three (3) questions for any one Council Meeting, this includes a combined total of three (3) questions for related parties or groups. The total word count of all questions submitted is to be 100 words or fewer. Background material will not be recorded in the Minutes.
  • Questions must be clearly defined as a question, separated from any supporting views, opinions or other text.

Refer to the Governance Rules (C82) for details on submitting questions to a Council Meeting. For more details on Public Questions in Council Meetings contact the Governance Team on 5662 9200.