Official Council meeting practices apply to ordinary and extraordinary meetings and conform to the rules as set out in the Code of Meeting Practice, available for download here.
Members of the public are most welcome to attend any official Council meeting to observe proceedings and, additionally, during ordinary meetings may address Council under the public access provisions.
Public Access – ordinary meetings
In order to more effectively consider public access requests, we have implemented a new process whereby we require the completion and return of the Public Access Application Form – which is available for download here.
Once complete, please return the form to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4.30pm on the Monday prior to the public access request date.
An excerpt from the Code of Meeting Practice addressing the manner in which the public can address Council meetings is provided for convenience.
4.33 The Council Meeting Business Paper will include a section titled ‘Public Access’.
The procedure for the conduct of the Public Access Sessions will be as follows:
1) The Public Access Sessions will be held in conjunction with Ordinary Council Meetings on agenda items only.
2) The Public Access Sessions will be conducted at the commencement of the meeting on the scheduled days or during meeting time at the discretion of the Mayor/General Manager.
3) A time limit of five (5) minutes per address will be applied with a maximum of six (6) time slots allocated at any one session. Each time slot shall be for one (1) item on the agenda.
4) Prior appointment for addressing Council must be made through Council’s Governance Department with advice as to agenda item. Applications for allocation of access must be made by 4.30pm on the Monday prior to the scheduled meeting with details to be provided to Councillors by midday on the day of the meeting.
5) Public access shall only be granted on matters for determination, unless prior approval is granted for matters for information, which shall be approved by the General Manager on a case-by-case basis.
6) The General Manager reserves the right to view any proposed presentations to be included in a public access session prior to the meeting. Presentations are to be forwarded to Council for review by 2.00pm on the Tuesday prior to the scheduled meeting. Permission to include a presentation is at the General Manager’s discretion.
7) The General Manager reserves the right to determine what level of detail shall be included in the Minutes, with regard to public access presentations. The Minutes will acknowledge the speaker and the general nature of the address, however, will not capture the presentation verbatim.
8) Council’s response to an address (if any) will not necessarily be given at the time of the address. Should an answer not be provided at the Council Meeting, a written response will be forwarded to the person raising the question within seven (7) days of the meeting. A copy of the response is to be provided to Councillors and recorded in the minutes of the following meeting.
9) At all times during the address, participants will respect the right of the Chairperson to terminate the session. There is to be no debate on a response provided by Council.
10) Addresses are not to be directed to any specific individual.
11) Councillors will have the right to question the speaker on the topic outside the presentation time.
12) Applications for public access made by individuals, on behalf of an organisation, prior to commencing their address to Council, are to provide proof that they have the organisation’s authority to address Council on the organisation’s behalf.
Presenting a petition to Council
Council will accept petitions from members of the public at any time. If you would like your petition to be tabled at a Council meeting, the following requirements apply:
• Each petition must clearly identify the name, address, phone number and email address of the person lodging the petition with Council; this person (the ‘main petition contact’) should be the first listed name on the petition
• The petition should be about a matter that Council can act on or influence
• It should contain a clear statement explaining the subject and purpose of the petition and the action the petitioners want Council to take
• State the request on each page of the petition
• Be signed by at least 50 people for general petitions or 10% of enrolled electors for petitions lodged under s218E (2)(a) of the Local Government Act, or 250 enrolled electors for petitions lodged under s218E (2) (b) of the Act.
• Include the name and address of each person signing the petition (hard copy submissions should also show the original signature of each person listed), and
• Use respectful language, and not be frivolous or vexatious in nature.
Petitions can be posted to:
Richmond Valley Council
Locked Bag 10
CASINO NSW 2470
Or via email: email@example.com.
They may also be hand delivered to Council’s Casino Administration Office or sent directly to a Councillor with a request that they consider tabling the petition at a Council meeting. Petitions sent directly to Council will be acknowledged in writing to the main petition contact. If the petition is tabled at a Council meeting, the acknowledgment may be sent after the meeting. Note that petitions are not generally subject to discussion or debate at Council meetings.
In order for a petition to be considered at an Ordinary Council Meeting, it should be received a minimum of 10 business days prior to the meeting. Note that petitions that do not possess the required number of signatures can still be submitted to Council, however, will not be tabled at an Ordinary Meeting.
No specific format is required for a petition, as long as it meets the requirements outlined above and is clearly marked as a petition. Petitions received by Council are managed in accordance with the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 and the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998.
It should be noted that this information does not cover petitions submitted in response to public exhibition of development proposals or other statutory matters.