General information regarding Council Meetings
One of the most important functions undertaken by a Council's Mayor and Elected Members is attending Council meetings and participating in the decision-making process.
Decisions made at a formal council meeting provide the direction and authority for the Council's ongoing operations. These decisions give direction to the Chief Executive Officer and are implemented by Council staff.
Meetings also allow the Mayor and Elected Members to decide the Council's policy direction and make decisions on other statutory matters.
Council is a corporate body and can only make decisions by resolution. This means a motion must be put to a properly-convened meeting and can only be passed by a majority vote.
With the exception of the Mayor, who chairs the meeting, all members present at a Council meeting vote on every motion put to the meeting. The Mayor has a casting vote only if the voting is tied.
Council Meetings are held in the Alexandrina Council Goolwa Office (unless otherwise advised). Members of the public are encouraged to attend Council meetings. Meetings are only closed when topics of a confidential nature are being discussed, such as an individual's financial circumstances, a particular staff member or legal matters.
While meetings are open to the public, it is not possible to join in the debate or speak to Elected Members during the meeting (except for previously-approved deputations).
An agenda listing the issues and relevant reports for discussion at the meeting is made available to the public in advance so that everyone has the opportunity to be aware of matters before council. Copies are available online several days before the meeting or copies can be viewed at the Council's Administration Centre in Goolwa or the Strathalbyn Council Office.
Agendas for the Council Meetings are available on the Thursday prior to the meeting date.
Petitions and Deputations at Council Meetings
Petitions and deputations are an important part of community participation in the Council decision-making process. Petitions or deputations are formal tools providing individuals or groups in the community with an opportunity to present their opinions and suggestions to a Council or Council Committee meeting.
Please note that in line with the Council’s Sign, Banner and Flag Policy, display of petitions in Council buildings and libraries for information or signature gathering purposes will not be allowed.
Petitions being presented to a Council Meeting
A ‘petition’ is a formal written request, typically one signed by many people, appealing to authority in respect of a particular cause. This may also include the making of a petition through social media tools, provided it satisfies the criteria below as prescribed by reg. 10(1) of the Local Government (Procedures at Meetings) Regulations 2013 and the Alexandrina Council Code of Practice - Meeting Procedures.A petition to the Council must:
- be addressed to the Council and delivered to the principal office of the Council.
- be legibly written or typed or printed
- clearly set out the contact details of person coordinating the petition
- clearly set out the request or submission of the petitioners
- include the name and residential or business address of each person who signed or endorsed the petition
Note: All petitions received and presented to Council will be registered as an official record in the Council's Record Management System.
Pursuant to the Alexandrina Council's Code of Practice Meeting Procedures, and reg. 10(1) Local Government (Procedures at Meetings) Regulations 2013, once the petition is received at the principal office, the Chief Executive Officer must ensure that the petition or, if the Council has determined, a statement as to the nature of the request or submission and the number of signatures or persons endorsing the petition, is placed on the agenda of the next Council meeting or, if so provided by a policy of the Council, a committee of the Council. Generally the meeting would resolve to receive the petition and may also resolve an action in relation to the request or submission of the petitioners.
Deputations/presentations to a Council Meeting
A ‘deputation’ is a person or group (not more than 3 individuals will be permitted), who wish to appear personally before the Council or a Council Committee in order to make an address on a particular matter. A deputation:
- request must be made at least 5 days prior to the meeting, in writing to the Chief Executive Officer. This request will be passed on to the Presiding Member (usually the Mayor) for decision for it to proceed to the meeting
- unless there is consent of the Council or Committee, it must not exceed five (5) minutes in duration, including any audio/visual presentation. This time limit does not including questions from Elected Members
- relevant to the same item of business may not be made by more than three individuals or groups at any one Council meeting. If up to three requests are received, they will be permitted to appear in order of receipt, and subject to the consent of the Presiding Member.
If the Presiding Member decides to not allow a deputation, that decision will be reported at the next meeting of the Council or Council Committee. The Council or Council Committee may resolve to allow the deputation to appear, despite the ruling of the Presiding Member, or they may decide to refer a deputation to a relevant Council Committee. The individual or group applying will be advised of all decisions/outcomes in writing.