Section 5.24 of the Local Government Act 1995 requires that a minimum of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to ask questions at Council Meetings and Committee meetings that are open to the public. Guided by the Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996 and the Shire of Mingenew Standing Orders Local Law 2017 the following procedures are to apply to Public Question Time:
- When the President calls for any questions from the public, please stand and wait until you are acknowledged and invited to speak. Please start by giving your name and address first, then ask the question.
- Questions are to be put to the Presiding Member. The Presiding Member may answer the question or refer it to another Councillor or the CEO. No questions can be put to individual Councillors or staff.
- Questions must relate to the business of the Council or the Committee.
- Questions must not take the form of a statement or a personal opinion.
- Questions must be appropriate and made in good faith. Those containing defamatory remarks, offensive language or questioning the competency or personal affairs of elected members or employees may be ruled inappropriate by the Presiding Member and therefore not considered.
- Frame your question so that it is both precise and yet fully understood. Long questions covering a multitude of subjects are easily misunderstood and can result in poor replies being given.
- Members of the public may submit questions in writing by submitting this form and providing it to the Chief Executive Officer or emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the commencement of the Council or Committee. Alternatively, you may complete the electronic form below.
- If the author of the questions submitted in advance is not present at the meeting the Presiding Member may determine if the questions are to be read aloud and responded to or taken on notice, or dealt with as “normal business correspondence” and referred to the CEO for a response outside of the meeting.
- A question may be taken on notice by Council or Committee for later response.
- The Presiding Member may reject a question that is considered either offensive or reflects adversely upon the Shire, the Council or an employee. Any such questions or remarks will be omitted from the meeting Minutes.
Information for electronic meetings
Questions by members of the public are to be submitted, in writing (including by email, or by submitting the form below), to the CEO at least 4 hours prior to the scheduled meeting commencement time. Failure to comply may result in the questions being referred to the next Ordinary Council or Committee meeting or dealt with as “normal business correspondence” and referred to the CEO for a response outside of the meeting.
The Presiding Member may determine if the questions are to be read aloud and responded to at the meeting or taken on notice, or dealt with as “normal business correspondence” and referred to the CEO for a response outside of the meeting.
A copy of the response provided at a meeting must be provided to the author of the submitted questions.
In accordance with Admin Reg 14E(4)(b)(ii) under a declared public health or state emergency, the Presiding Member may deem it inappropriate to respond to any question at the meeting.