Changes to Council Meeting question time procedures

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Question time has been altered for the City of Ballarat Council meetings due to the COVID-19 Stage 3 restrictions.

To ensure the public can still participate in question time, they are asked to now submit their questions in writing.

However, no person may submit more than two question at each meeting,

The questions must be in English, must be 75 words or less and not include a preamble, other additional material, or multiple parts.

Questions must be submitted via email to agendapreparation@ballarat.vic.gov.au by no later than 4:30pm on the day of the Ordinary meeting.

The question may not be allowed if the time allotted for public question time has expired.

A question may be disallowed by the Mayor or Chairperson if it:

1. is not submitted in accordance with this revised process

2. relates to a matter outside Council’s duties, functions and powers

3. is defamatory, indecent, abusive, offensive, irrelevant, trivial or objectionable in language or substance

4. deals with a subject matter already answered

5. is aimed at embarrassing a Councillor or a Council staff member

6. relates to personnel matters

7. relates to the personal hardship of any resident or ratepayer

8. relates to industrial matters

9. relates to contractual matters

10. relates to proposed developments

11. relates to legal advice

12. relates to matters affecting the security of Council property

13. relates to any other matter which Council considers would prejudice Council or any person

14. would require, on the advice of the Chief Executive Officer, an unreasonable diversion of Council resources to prepare a response or

15. relates to matters that would normally be subject to a Freedom of Information request.

16. has previously been asked by the same person

17. has already been put in writing to a Councillor or a member of Council staff; and received a written response.

The name of the person who submitted a question must be read out, along with the question which may then be directed to the CEO or a nominated officer.

All questions and answers must be as brief as possible.

A Councillor or the Chief Executive Officer may require a question to be put on notice which is then recorded in the Council minutes. A written copy of the answer must be sent to the person who asked the question. Minutes will reflect responses until the matter is completed.

 

Public Representations

Due to COVID-19 Stage 3 restrictions around public gatherings being limited to two people the following has been put in place.

Public representations may be made on any items listed on the agenda in an Ordinary Meeting apart from those listed in the confidential section. Submissions must also be submitted in writing to agendapreparation@ballarat.vic.gov.au by no later than 4.30pm on the day of Council meeting; and limited to no more than 200 words which will be read out by the Chief Executive Officer or her nominated delegate at the meeting prior to the matter being considered by Council.

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