Discussing topics

Speaking at a Council meeting

The Local Government Act 1993 provides an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions at a council or council committee meeting. Some councils give this opportunity to the public in a Meeting Procedures By-law that allows Public Question Time at meetings. There are some limits in relation to the time available for questions.

If you wish an issue to be raised at a council meeting, you should first contact one or more of your local councillors and discuss your issue with them. One function of councillors is to facilitate communication between the council and the community. Your council's website or your council's public office will have the councillors' contact details.

The chairperson of a meeting, usually the Mayor, may respond to questions for which prior notice in writing has been given. If a councillor raises a question without giving prior notice, the chairperson may choose to address the answer if it is readily available or known. If this is not the case, the chairperson may request that the question be put in writing and dealt with separately from the meeting.

The chairperson, acting on behalf of the Council, may also invite any member of the public present at a meeting to ask questions. The same considerations apply as for a question without notice raised by a councillor.

A council or council committee may agree to a request from a delegation of persons to speak at a meeting; or it may invite a delegation of persons to attend and address a meeting. A period of time to address the meeting will normally be fixed by agreement.

Public question time is allowed at commencement of Council Meetings, please contact Council for further details on Ph 03 6376 7900 or admin@bodc.tas.gov.au.

Getting councillors to bring up a topic

The functions of Councillors are:

  • to represent and promote the interests of the community
  • to facilitate communication between the Council and the community
  • to review the performance of the Council

Councillors are to act in the best interests of the community when carrying out their functions.

If you wish to contact your local councillors, visit the Council's website or telephone the Council's public office to obtain the councillors' contact details.

A list of Councillors is available from the Council office, Georges Bay Esplanade, St Helens, can be viewed online, via email to admin@bodc.tas.gov.au, or by phoning 03 6376 7900.