More time for public questions and fewer petition signatures proposed

Published on 26 July 2022

Governance Rules.jpg

Council is looking to provide more time for residents to lodge questions ahead of Council meetings and reduce the number of signatures required for petitions to be considered.

The proposed changes are among a number of other minor amendments proposed in response to new provisions in the Legislative Amendment Reform Act 2022, which are scheduled to come into effect from 2 September 2022.

Most of the adjustments are considered minor, but the two key proposed adjustments that impact community participation would see the timeframe for the submission of public questions extended from midday currently until 6:30pm, just prior to meetings starting; and the number of signatures on both physical and online petitions reduced from the current 50 required to ten.

Additionally, Council is considering changes to ensure:

  • Agendas state whether the meeting is being held in person, electronically or a mix of both. It is also proposed a Councillor can request in writing to the CEO to attend virtually up to 10 am on the day of the meeting.
  • A nomination for Mayor would not require a seconder, and nominees would be able to address the meeting prior to the vote being taken.
  • Urgent business raised by a Councillor at a meeting would not result in any expenditure or contractual arrangements that substantially affect the levels of service or are inconsistent with policy.
  • Motions would not need to be read out in full where they are displayed on screens in the chamber.

Clarifications are also proposed to the Point of Order process along with provision for the  format for a Delegated Committee by Council resolution.

The Governance Rules, adopted in August 2020, include references to the Council’s Meeting Procedures, Election Period Policy, and internal processes for managing disclosures of conflict of interests.

They were last updated in November 2021 to reflect the rise in popularity of online petitions and to tighten the wording around conducting meetings virtually.

For further information please visit maribyrnong.vic.gov.au/public-notices

Anyone with comments on the proposed amendments, and specifically in relation to public question time and petitions, can email feedback to governance@maribyrnong.vic.gov.au

A report will be going back to Council at the August meeting.  

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