Questions from the Public (Public Question Time)
The City of Greater Geraldton welcomes community participation during public question time as per S5.7 Meeting Procedures Amendment Local Law 2016 - Consolidated Meeting Procedures Local Law 2011.
(1) A member of the public who raises a question during question time must:
(a) be in attendance at the meeting;
(b) first state their name and address;
(c) direct the question to the Presiding Member;
(d) ask the question briefly and concisely;
(e) limit any preamble to matters directly relevant to the question; and
(f) ensure that the question is not accompanied by any expression of opinion, statement of fact or other comment, except where necessary to explain the question;
(g) each member of the public with a question is entitled to ask up to 3 questions before other members of the public will be invited to ask their questions;
(h) where a member of the public seeks a written response to their questions to be tabled at a meeting, the member of the public must submit their questions to Council by no later than 12 noon on the day prior to the meeting date of which the response is to be tabled;
(i) where a member of the public submits their questions after 12 noon on the day prior to the meeting date of which the response is to be tabled, a written response may be provided at the discretion of the presiding member;
(j) where a member of the public submits a written question after 12 noon the day prior to the meeting at which they are to be tabled, a verbal response may be provided at the meeting;
(k) a member of the public may ask questions without notice at a meeting, provided they present a written copy of their questions to Council prior to the commencement of the meeting.
(Clause 5.7. subclause (1)(a)- (k), (2) – (10) amended by Meeting Procedures Amendment Local Law 2016)
The following is a summary of procedure and a guide to completion of the required form.
- Please Note: Members of the public must be in attendance at the Council Meeting to which they have submitted a question(s) for response. If this is not the case the question(s) will be treated as 'normal business correspondence' and the question / response will not appear in the Council Minutes.
- This is a “question” time only. Orations, explanations or statements of belief will not be accepted or allowed.
- Questions must relate to a matter affecting the City of Greater Geraldton.
- Questions must be appropriate and made in good faith. Those containing defamatory remarks, offensive language or question the competency or personal affairs of council members or employees may be ruled inappropriate by the Mayor or 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.
- Write your question down on the attached form, it helps you to express the question clearly and provides staff with an accurate record of exactly what you want to know.
- When the Mayor calls for any questions from the public, stand up and wait until you are acknowledged and invited to speak. Please start by giving your name and address first, then ask the question.
- Questions to be put to the presiding member and answered by the Council. No questions can be put to individual Councillors.
- The question time will be very early in the meeting. There is only 15 minutes available for Question Time. Questions not asked may still be submitted to the meeting and will be responded to by mail.
- When you have put your question, await the reply. If possible, the Mayor will answer directly or invite a staff member with special knowledge to answer in his place. Complex questions that require research, may be Taken on Notice by the Mayor and answer will be forwarded to you in writing. Please note in NO circumstances, will the question be debated or discussed by Council at that meeting.
- To maximise public participation only three questions per person will initially be considered with a time limit of 2 minutes per person. If there is time after all interested persons have put their questions the Mayor will allow further questions, again in limits of two per person.
- To fill out the form, just enter your name and address in the appropriate areas together with details of any group you are representing, then write out your question.
- Please ensure your form is submitted to the meeting secretary.
If you have difficulty in writing the question, City staff are available on request to assist in this task.
We hope this note assists you in the asking of your question and thank you for your interest and participation in the affairs of our City.
Question Time Submission Form and Information