Council Meetings

Contents
Current Meeting Agenda / Minutes
Council Meeting Dates and Locations
Meeting Procedures

Current Meeting Agenda / Minutes

Please note that the minutes of council's most recent meeting are subject to confirmation at the following council meeting and could be amended.

Council Meeting Minutes 21 January 2014 (272 KB)

Council Meeting Minutes 18 February 2014 (416 KB)

Council Meeting Minutes 18 March 2014 (2 MB)

Council Meeting Minutes 15 April 2014 (256 KB)

Council Meeting Minutes 20 May 2014 (1.2 MB)

Council Meeting Minutes 10 June 2014 (4.6 MB)

Council Meeting Minutes 15 July 2014 (3.9 MB)

Council Meeting Dates and Locations Go to Top of the Page

Council's meetings are open to members of the public and press and procedures are governed by the Local Government (Meetings Procedures) Regulations 2005 (the Regulations). Council does not operate on a committee system and all decisions are made by the council as a whole.

Meetings are held at 1.30pm on the third Tuesday of every month. (See below for 2014 dates) A period of 30 minutes is set aside for a community input segment at which members of the public may present suggestions or ideas to council or ask questions concerning any council related activities.

Please note that meetings are conducted alternately between the Council Chambers, Beaconsfield and the Windsor Community Precinct, Riverside.

Council's agenda and minutes for each meeting are displayed on the website (www.wtc.tas.gov.au) and at the Riverside and Beaconsfield offices from the Friday prior to the council meeting.

Meeting Dates for 2014

Meeting Date Meeting Location Meeting Time



21 January 2014 Riverside (Windsor Community Precinct) 1:30pm
18 February 2014 Beaconsfield 1:30pm
18 March 2014 Riverside (Windsor Community Precinct) 1:30pm
15 April 2014 Beaconsfield 1:30pm
20 May 2014 Riverside (Windsor Community Precinct) 1:30pm
10 June 2014 Beaconsfield  1:30pm
15 July 2014 Riverside (Windsor Community Precinct) 1:30pm
19 August 2014 Beaconsfield 1:30pm
16 September 2014 Riverside (Windsor Community Precinct) 1:30pm
21 October 2014 Beaconsfield 1:30pm
18 November 2014 Riverside (Windsor Community Precinct) Annual General Meeting @ 11:30am 1.30pm
16 December 2014 Beaconsfield 1:30pm

Meeting Procedures Go to Top of the Page

The Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) establishes and names the council for each municipal area. The Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2005 (the Regulations) provide for the standard procedures relating to meetings of councils.

Council committees are also provided for under the Act. The committees are to be appointed by council. The Regulations also set out the procedures relating to the meetings of the committees.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1.When are council meetings held?

2.How do I know what council will be discussing?

3.Do I get access to the agenda before the meeting?

4.Can I attend the meetings?

5.What is a closed council meeting?

6.Can I speak at a council meeting?

7.Do I need to submit something before I speak?

8.How do I get councillors to bring a topic up?

9.How do I get a petition presented?

10.How do I get input into the decision making process?

1. When are council meetings held?

The Local Government Act 1993 provides for four types of council meetings, which affect when meetings are held:

a) Ordinary meetings of council;
b) Special meetings of council;
c) Meetings of council committees; and
d) Annual general meetings.

Council meetings are not to start before 5pm unless otherwise authorised.

a) Ordinary Meetings

Ordinary meetings are called by the council to transact ordinary business and any other business on the agenda. These meetings must be held at least once in each month.

Notice of ordinary meetings is to be provided to councillors at least four days but not more than 14 days before the meeting. A notice of the meeting is also to be published in a daily newspaper circulating in the municipal area at least four days but not more than 14 days before the meeting.

Note: Weekends and public holidays are included in the number of days in the notice provisions.

b) Special Meetings

A special meeting may be convened by the mayor to discuss agenda items only. A special meeting is also to be convened at the direction of council or by the general manager at the request of three or more councillors.

Notice of special meetings is to be provided to councillors at least two days but not more than 14 days before the meeting. A notice of the meeting is also to be published in a daily newspaper circulating in the municipal area at least two days but not more than 14 days before the meeting.

Note: Weekends and public holidays are included in the number of days in the notice provisions.

c) Council Committee Meetings

A council committee meeting may be convened at any time by the chairperson of the committee. A meeting must be held if the council or council committee so directs.


d) Annual General Meetings

Council must hold an annual general meeting:

a) no later than 15 December in each year; and

b) not before 14 days after the date of first publication of the notice.

A notice must be published on at least two separate occasions in a daily newspaper circulating in the municipal area that specifies the date of the annual general meeting.

2. How do I know what council will be discussing?

The general manager is to prepare an agenda for each meeting. The agenda lists any matter to be discussed at the meeting. Any documents that relate to closed meetings may be excluded from the agenda at the general manager's discretion. Such excluded documents are exempt from Freedom of Information Act 1991 provisions.

The first substantive item of business of any ordinary meeting of the council is to be the confirmation of the minutes of any previous meeting of council, whether ordinary or special. Discussion of any matter referred to in the minutes submitted for confirmation is not permitted but the accuracy of the minutes as a record of the meeting to which they relate may be questioned.

The order of business for any ordinary meeting is to be in accordance with the agenda but the meeting may resolve to alter that order.

The business of a special meeting of the council is to be conducted in the order in which it is set out in the notice of that meeting.

Copies of the agenda are available on council's website.

3. Can I get access to the agenda before the meeting?

Public office copies are to be made available:

a) at least two days before a special or four days before any other meeting; and
b) at the meeting.

Copies of any extract, other than an extract relating to a closed meeting, are to be made available upon payment of a prescribed fee of $2 plus $0.20 per page.

Any documents that relate to closed meetings are exempt from Freedom of Information Act 1991 provisions.

Copies of the agenda are available on council's website.

4. Can I attend the meetings?

All meetings of a council or council committee are to be open to the public. However, the council (by more than half of the number of councillors to be elected to a council, whether or not present at the meeting), or a council committee (by simple majority), may decide to close a meeting where certain restricted matters are to be discussed (see "What is a closed council meeting?" for details).

5.What is a closed council meeting?

The council (by more than half of the number of councillors to be elected to a council, whether or not present at the meeting), or a council committee (by simple majority), may decide to close a meeting because any of the following matters are to be discussed:

a) personnel matters including complaints against staff of the council;
b) industrial matters relating to a person;
c) the health or financial position of any person;
d) contracts for the supply and purchase of goods and services;
e) the security of property of the council;
f) proposals for the acquisition of land or disposal of land which is not public land;
g) information provided to the council on the condition it is kept confidential;
h) trade secrets of private bodies;
i) matters relating to actual or possible litigation involving the council or staff of the council.

The chairperson of a meeting may remove the public or exclude any person from a closed meeting.

Documents that relate to closed meetings may be excluded from the agenda. Minutes of closed meetings will only include the fact that the matter was discussed but no details of the meeting (unless the council or the council committee determines otherwise) will be recorded in the minutes.

Any documents or minutes relating to closed meetings are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act 1991 provisions.

6. Can I speak at a council meeting?

The Regulations provide for public question time at the beginning of a council meeting and council provides Community Input Time at the beginning of each meeting. The general rules are:

  • 30 minutes maximum period with up to 15 minutes for community ideas input and 15 minutes for public questions;
  • community input time limits any one speaker to a maximum of 5 minutes; and
  • public question time limits each speaker to a maximum of 3 questions on any specific subject. A question will be answered if the information is known otherwise it will be taken on notice and responded to in writing. Where there are several persons wishing to ask questions, a rotational basis will be used.

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

7. Do I need to submit something before I speak?

No.

8. How do I get councillors to bring a topic up?

The functions of councillors are:

  • to represent and promote the interests of the community;
  • to facilitate communication between the council and the community; and
  • 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 office to obtain the councillors' contact details.

9. How do I get a petition presented?

Petitions may be presented with respect to three areas:

a) Issues of significant interest;
b) Separate rates; and
c) General matters.

a) Issues of significant interest

Issues of significant interest to the community are:

  • matters a council declares to be such an issue; or
  • matters the electors, by a petition made and accepted by council, seek to be treated as such an issue.

Electors may make a petition for the council to have a matter treated as an issue of significant interest to the community. Petitions for issues of significant interest may instigate a public meeting or elector poll.

A petition:

(a) must be prepared in accordance with Form 1 of Schedule 1 of the Local Government Regulations 1994;
(b) must contain a clear and concise statement identifying the matter;
(c) is to be submitted to the general manager; and
(d) must be signed by the lesser of: (i) 5% of the electors in the municipal area; or
(ii) 1,000 of the electors in the municipal area.

A petition is not to be made in respect of any matter relating to rates and charges, except as provided in paragraph 9(b) below. Petitions accepted by the general manager are to be tabled as soon as practicable at an ordinary council meeting and are taken to be accepted by the council on that tabling.

After council has accepted a petition relating to an issue of significant interest to the community, it must hold a public meeting to discuss the issue. Alternatively, council, on its own motion, may hold a public meeting to discuss any issue it determines. Notice of the public meeting must be publicly displayed and published on at least three occasions in a daily newspaper circulating in the municipal area.

Council must invite the public to make written submissions in relation to the issue of significant interest to the community. These submissions are to be lodged with council within 21 days after the first publication of the notice. Any submission received is to be summarised and copies made available to those attending the public meeting.

Council may be required, in certain circumstances where a petition has been made, to hold an elector poll. A matter that is the subject of an elector poll is to be decided by a simple majority of the votes cast. The result of an elector poll is not binding on council.

Council, on its own motion, may hold an elector poll on any issue it determines. Such poll may be conducted in any manner council determines.

The general manager determines whether or not the petition complies with the formal requirements. If it does not, the general manager is to notify one of the proposers and council at its next meeting of the reasons for its non-compliance.

b) Separate rates

Council may, by more than half of the number of councillors to be elected to council, whether or not present at the meeting, make a separate rate in respect of land, or a class of land, within a part of its municipal area.

The separate rate may be made:

(a) in addition to any other rates;
(b) in respect of a financial year or part of a financial year; and
(c) for the purpose of planning, carrying out, making available, maintaining or improving any thing that in council's opinion is, or is intended to be, of particular benefit to: (i) the affected land; or
(ii) the owners or occupiers of that land.

Ratepayers affected by the intention of council to make a separate rate may present a petition in the prescribe form to council within 30 days of the date on which a notification is made in a newspaper.

If at least 100 affected ratepayers or at least 10% of affected ratepayers, whichever is the lesser, present a petition, council must arrange a public meeting to discuss the issues involved.

c) General matters

Petitions for general matters may relate to any matter including requests for local infrastructure such as road works. A petition is to be be presented to an ordinary meeting of council and must comply with the Meeting Procedures By-law.

Your local councillor may be able to assist you in preparing and presenting a petition. Visit council's website or telephone the office to obtain the councillors' contact details.

10. How do I get input into the decision making process?

At ordinary and special council meetings, your councillors are your representatives. Each councillor has one vote at a meeting. A question arising at a meeting is determined by a simple majority of votes.

A ratepayer may write to the mayor or councillor expressing their views and asking that a question be put to the next council meeting. They may also put their views verbally to a councillor. Councils regularly advertise public meetings where members of the general public can attend regarding an issue of special interest, and councils also invite the public to attend community consultations on various submissions or surveys. In these ways every member of the community can actively participate through a consultative process in the workings of their council.

CONTACT US
Council Chambers Beaconsfield
West Street Beaconsfield Tas 7270
Phone 03 6383 6350 (8am-5pm Mon-Fri)
Council Office Riverside
Eden Street Riverside Tas 7250
Phone 03 6323 9300 (8am-5pm Mon-Fri)
Postal Address
PO Box 59 Beaconsfield Tas 7270
Email: wtc@wtc.tas.gov.au