Public speaking in meetings
The following instructions outline how you can speak at a Council meeting, including how to book a public speaking time. Public speaking time take place as part of the meeting, and be recorded and minuted. Topics will generally relate to items on the agenda.
At the beginning of Council and committee meetings there's time where you may address the Mayor and councillors about matters generally relating to the items on the agenda, and at the end of the meeting there's time for public speaking on other items not on the agenda.
You'll usually have a maximum of 3 minutes of speaking time. The Chair may restrict the time eg to 2 minutes where there are more than six speakers for public speaking time.
Speakers must book by emailing [email protected] by 12.00 midday the day before the meeting. You'll need to provide:
- your name
- whether you're representing an organisation
- which agenda item, if any, you wish to speak on
- whether you're speaking to a written submission
- any written material supporting your position that you wish to share with councillors
You can read copies of agendas and reports online at least two days before the meeting.
The Democracy Services team will advise you of your allocated speaking slot by 5pm the day before the meeting. We'll also confirm how long you have to speak.
Health and safety
For the health and safety of all attendees in the meeting, you must let the Democracy Services team know before the day of the meeting, and seek any required approval, if you intend providing material samples or evidential material (other than paper form). Council reserves the right to decline the individual's request if it believes there is potential to endanger the health and safety of others.
At the meeting
Council meetings are quite formal, so please understand and follow these basic rules:
- At the end of your oral submission, you may be asked questions by elected members.
- It's important not to interrupt councillors when they're speaking, and not to speak until requested by the Chair.
The Chair will also advise you how long you have to speak. You'll be timed, so please be careful to use your minutes wisely. The Chair may terminate your statement if it's disrespectful or offensive.
Rules generally pertaining to Public Speaking Time are under Section 15 of Standing Orders, which were adopted by Council on 24 November 2022.