Public Question Time

Residents and ratepayers can submit questions in writing for Council to answer at its monthly meetings.

The deadline for questions is 5pm on the day of the Council meeting. The next Council meeting is on Tuesday 26 September so the deadline for questions is 5pm on 26 September 2017.

In late 2016, some temporary changes were made to the public question time process, to make it easier for residents and ratepayers to ask questions. These changes included extending the deadline for submitting a question (it was previously noon on the day before a Council meeting).

Form to submit to ask a question

Please use the below form to submit your question/s.

Form to submit question to Council meeting (DOCX, 57KB)

Your completed form can be submitted via:

Enquiries: Council's Governance team on 9518 3696.

New guidelines for submitting questions to Council

1. Council will endeavour to provide an opportunity at each of its Ordinary Meetings for people who are present in the public gallery to ask questions of Council. 

2. Where such an opportunity is provided, the Mayor retains discretion to accept or reject such questions. In exercising that discretion, the Mayor will consider whether a question:

  • relates to a matter beyond the power of Council;
  • is defamatory, malicious, abusive or objectionable in language or substance;
  • relates to the personal views or actions of an individual Councillor or officer;
  • relates to a matter which would prejudice the Council or any person;
  • is repetitive of a question already answered at the Meeting or the previous Ordinary Meeting of Council;
  • is in the nature of a statement, comment or opinion; or
  • relates to any matter which would otherwise be considered by Council in a meeting that is closed to the public under Section 89(2) of the Local Government Act 1989.

3. Where such an opportunity is provided, the Mayor shall:

  • call on members of the public gallery who have submitted an accepted question to ask their question verbally, if they wish;
  • allow a maximum of two questions from any person
  • only allow a second question from any person should time permit;
  • allow, at her or his discretion, a questioner to seek clarification on any point/s made in the answer provided;
  • give priority to questions relating to matters on the Meeting agenda and to questions in the order in which they were received;
  • allow a maximum of three questions on a particular topic, grouping questions together and responding collectively as appropriate;
  • nominate the appropriate Councillor or Council officer to answer the question or elect to answer it herself/himself;
  • advise the Meeting where questions have been submitted to the Meeting and rejected;
  • distribute rejected questions to all Councillors by the end of the next working day; and
  • nominate an appropriate time period of no less than 15 minutes.

4.  The text of each question asked and a summary response will be recorded in the minutes of the Meeting.

5.  All questions not dealt with due to time constraints will be responded to within 7 working days. If a response cannot be provided in this time, Council Officers will advise the questioner of the expected timeframe for a response to be provided. Where an email address is supplied, this response will be provided via email.

Future consultation about question time

During 2017, Council will be consulting with the Monash community about its Local Law for Meeting Procedures, which is due for review. As part of this consultation, we will be seeking people's ideas about public question time, so there may be further, permanent changes to question time once we have heard more from the community.

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Last updated: 30 August 2017