Public Participation at Council Meetings


In the interest of public safety, Council meetings and the Public Forum held prior to a meeting are being conducted in a hybrid mode, with participation both in person and by teleconference via Zoom. The number of people who may join the public gallery has had to be reduced from pre-COVID-19 levels.

Public Forum:  A Public Forum is held prior to each Council meeting to enable people to speak to Council about any item on the agenda for the meeting that will follow. The Forum commences at 6pm and the Council meeting will commence immediately after the Forum.

Speakers can address Council in person or via Zoom. All speakers must register in advance, indicating which agenda item they wish to speak about and whether they are speaking 'for' or 'against' the recommendation. Use this link to Register to Address Council at a Public Forum. Registrations close at 2pm on the day of the meeting. 

Speakers should note the guidelines for addressing Council below. 

Observing a meeting: Those who simply wish to observe a meeting of Council are also welcome to attend in person or to register for access via Zoom. If you wish to attend in person, there is no need to register in advance - you can simply turn up. If you wish to register to observe via Zoom, please complete the registration form using this link - Register to Observe a Meeting of CouncilRegistrations can be made anytime up until 2pm on the day of the meeting of interest. The details of the Zoom meeting will be emailed to those who have been registered.

If you have any difficulties with registration or other concerns about arranging representations, please contact the Governance team via email on with advice.  If the matter is urgent, please call one of our friendly Customer Service officers on 9911 9911 for assistance. 

Guidelines for speaking at a Public Forum: Please keep the following in mind if you are planning to speak:

  1. There is a time limit of 3 minutes per speaker
  2. A  short extension of time to speak may be granted by the Chair, especially where it can be demonstrated that a speaker is making a representation on behalf of more than one interested party
  3. If there are many people interested in speaking on the same item of business, the Chair may ask for one speaker ‘for’ and one speaker ‘against’ where matters to be raised in each instance are the same
  4. When framing you position as ‘for’ or ‘against’ something make sure it is in relation to a recommendation being put before the Council rather than the proposal that gave rise to the Council report in which the recommendation appears
  5. It is not an additional opportunity to debate a matter or to pose questions to councillors or officers of Council
  6. People addressing the Council may answer questions put to them by councillors as part of clarifying their position or statement
  7. Council may invite critical stakeholders to present information to a Public Forum on matters of business listed on a Council meeting agenda
  8. You are to be respectful with your remarks and not make personal reflections on or impute improper motives to anyone
  9. You need to be succinct and remain focused on the subject at hand.

By participating in or observing a meeting of Council you acknowledge that audio and visual capture of proceedings, as well as any written submissions, may form part of records which are retained by Council and are made publicly accessible.