Council meetings

Overview

Council meeting update

On Thursday 23 April 2020, the Victorian Parliament passed the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Act 2020 that enables Councillors to attend a Council meeting by electronic means of communication during the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

The first meeting of Council under the new provisions was a Special Council meeting on Friday 1 May at 3.30pm. To view livestreamed meetings, see: Council meetings livestreamed.

Attend or live stream a meeting 

Council meetings are generally held on the fourth Wednesday of the month, February to December from 6pm.

Submitters Delegated Committee meetings are held when required on the second Wednesday of the month, February to December from 6pm.

Unscheduled Council meetings may be called when urgent matters arise. Councillors consider and make decisions on reports and issues of Council services.

See Meeting Dates

Agendas are available online or at each administration centre from 5pm on the Friday before the meeting. Urgent items may sometimes be added to the meeting agenda at the start of the meeting.

You can also watch Council meetings and Submitters Delegated Committee meetings through our meeting live stream

What happens at a Council meeting?

Meetings follow the rules set out in our Governance Rules(PDF, 4MB).

  • The Mayor opens the meeting.
  • The Chairperson introduces each item on the agenda.
  • Council officers may give a brief overview of agenda items and answer any questions from Councillors.
  • A Councillor will move to either accept or refuse the Council officer’s recommendation.
  • Any debate and discussion of each item, and motion carried or otherwise, will proceed in line with the Governance Rules.
  • Notices of Motion, urgent or other business, and confidential reports are heard at the end of the meeting.

Governance Rules

Under the Local Government Act 2020 (Vic), councils are required to adopt Governance Rules(PDF, 4MB) for the conduct of Council meetings and meetings of any delegated committee the Council may establish.

The Governance Rules also outline the process for the election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor as well as the disclosure of conflicts of interest by Councillors and members of Council staff. The Governance Rules also include our Election Period (Caretaker) Policy.

Public question time

Ask a question about any Council matter during public question time:

 

The Chairperson decides whether or not a question will be read and then a brief verbal or written answer is given.

If you are present at the time of the question, you may be asked to clarify your question. No further discussion is permitted.

Closed meetings

All Council meetings are open to the public. There are times, however, when Council may resolve to close the meeting to discuss confidential information such as:

  • Council business information
  • security information
  • land use planning information
  • law enforcement information
  • legal privileged information
  • personal information
  • private commercial information
  • confidential meeting information
  • internal arbitration information
  • Councillor Conduct Panel confidential information.

 

When meetings are closed, the public and press are asked to leave for the length of that particular discussion.

For more information, contact the Governance unit via governance@mrsc.vic.gov.au or (03) 5422 0352.

Councillor briefings

Councillor briefings are information sessions involving Councillors and Council officers. These sessions ensure that Councillors are well-informed so they can debate the issues effectively at a Council meeting.

Briefings:

  • can occur at various stages in the process leading up to a Council meeting
  • help Councillors determine whether they have enough information and advice to help them form an opinion about the matters in question
  • are generally held in private so that Councillors are able to openly ask questions of Council officers about the information they have been given, seek further information and consider ideas.

Briefings do not feature debates or Councillors taking a collective position on an issue. Decisions are not made at Councillor briefings. The appropriate place for this to occur is in a council meeting. In briefings, there is generally a one-way information flow from Council officers to Councillors who may ask questions and seek further information. 

Although briefings are not decision-making forums, Councillors must still comply with requirements regarding the declaration of conflicts of interest. At each monthly Council Meeting, a record of the meetings, held in the preceding month that included Councillors and Council staff as specified in the Governance Rules, is presented to Council.

Councillor briefings assist in making the decision-making process more efficient.

Meeting with Councillors and presenting to a Councillor briefing

Councillors welcome the opportunity to meet with community groups and organisations.

To enable such meetings, please submit a Meeting with Councillors request form. Your request will be considered by Councillors at the next scheduled Councillor briefing and then an officer will contact you to discuss the most appropriate way forward.