Council meeting procedure

In This Section

Agenda format

Each agenda is divided into the following parts:

  1. Opening
  2. Prayer
  3. Acknowledgement of Country (Gadigal and Birrabirrigal People)
  4. Acknowledgement of the Sovereign of the Day (Queen Elizabeth II)
  5. Confirmation of Minutes of previous meeting(s)
  6. Leave of Absence and Apologies
  7. Declarations of Interest
  8. Late Correspondence
  9. Petitions Tabled
  10. Mayoral Minute(s)
  11. Public Forum
  12. General Manager and Officers' Report
  13. Reports of the Committees (EP, FC&S, S&C)
  14. Rescission Motion(s)
  15. Councillor Reports / Councillor Updates (Section 8.4)
  16. Notices of Motion
  17. Questions with Notice

Although there are 17 parts listed for the agenda, there may not always be items for consideration in each of the parts.

Late correspondence

Late correspondence:

  • may be submitted on a matter by anyone wishing to provide additional information to the Councillors.
  • must be received by the Council by 12noon on the day of the meeting.
  • will be distributed to all Councillors at the start of the meeting.

Late written correspondence must be emailed to

Meeting procedure - COVID-19

Amendments have been made to the Local Government Act 1993 to allow councils to meet remotely to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and ensure compliance with the Public Health Order.

The Mayor, Councillors and staff will be participating in meetings by an audio-visual link instead of attending in person. Meetings will be webcast and members of the public can watch and listen to meetings live (via YouTube) or dial in to listen to the meetings using a telephone.

At the start of the meeting, the Mayor will open the meeting and welcome Councillors, staff and members of the public. Following this the Mayor will proceed with a Prayer, Acknowledgement of Country (Gadigal and Birrabirrigal People) and Acknowledgement of the Sovereign of the Day (Queen Elizabeth II).

The Mayor will call the meeting to order and proceed to introduce the individual parts listed on the meeting agenda.

How does Part 7 - Public Forum operate?

Members of the public will be given the opportunity to address the Councillors on any local government related matter, excluding matters that are on the Council meeting agenda or any application already lodged with the Council for a decision. The public forum will be via audio-visual link only.

Council will allow up to three people to address the Councillors for a maximum of three minutes each. If you wish to address Council you must complete a Public Forum Registration Form (PDF) and submit it to Council prior to 5pm on the Wednesday before the Council meeting.

When the Public Forum part of the meeting is reached, the Mayor will invite the registered speakers to address the Councillors via teleconference. At the conclusion of the address the speaker will be muted.

Only the name of each speaker and the topic they address will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

See Having your say at meetings for more information on the Public Forum or call Council's Governance Department on 9391 7001.

How does Part 9 - Reports of the Committees operate?

The Mayor will invite Committee Chairperson's to introduce their Committee recommendations by referring to the item numbers on the agenda and ask if any Councillor wishes to call any of the items for discussion.

If no items from their Committee agenda are called, the Committee Chairperson moves that all the recommendations of the Committee meeting be adopted and the Mayor calls for a Councillor to second the motion.

After the recommendation of the Chairperson is seconded, the recommendation is voted on by the Councillors and if passed, becomes the decision of Council.

If a Councillor wishes to call an item for discussion, the Councillor will advise the meeting and after the other items for that Committee have been voted on, the called item(s) are introduced for discussion. The Councillor who called the item must move a motion for consideration by the Councillors and the motion must be seconded by another Councillor. Once this happens the Councillor who moved the motion may speak for up to five minutes on the matter.

Each Councillor is allowed to speak once on each motion for up to five minutes.

After all Councillors have been given the opportunity to speak on the motion being considered, the Councillor who originally moved the motion has a right of reply. This means that the Councillor has a right to speak for another five minutes to reply to any matters raised by other Councillors. After the right of reply has been exercised, the Mayor puts the motion to the vote of the Councillors and declares the motion won or lost.

If the motion is won, it becomes the decision of Council.

If the motion is lost, the Mayor may call for another motion for consideration of the Councillors. This process is undertaken for each of the Committee items that are called to the meeting by any Councillor when the Committee Chairperson presents their Committee's reports.

Decisions of the Council

  1. In relation to Mayoral Minutes, General Manager's Reports and Reports of Committees, Council may decide:
    • to adopt the recommendation without change
    • to adopt the recommendation with minor changes
    • to adopt the recommendation with substantial changes
    • to adopt some other recommendation
    • to defer the matter to a future Council meeting
    • to refer the matter to a Committee for consideration.
  2. In relation to rescission motions and notices of motion:

    Councillors may debate the matters and vote on each item. Each Councillor will be permitted to speak for a maximum of five minutes on each item.

    If a motion is adopted, Council staff will undertake the necessary actions to implement the decision of Council.

    If the motion is lost, no further action will be taken on the matter.

What does each decision mean?

Council's decision is final unless a rescission motion, signed by three Councillors, is submitted to the Mayor before the end of the Council meeting or, for matters other than development applications, within 15 minutes of the close of a Council meeting.

If a rescission motion is submitted before the close of a Council meeting, the Mayor will advise the members of the public when Council will consider the rescission motion.

How does Part 12 - Questions for the Next Meeting operate?

Generally, the last item on each Council agenda will be Questions for the Next Meeting.
This session gives each Councillor an opportunity to ask questions in relation to Council's responsibilities.

The questions may be answered at the meeting or may be referred to a Council Officer to provide a reply to the next Council meeting.

After the meeting

After each meeting Council staff will implement the decision of the Council. Staff will also forward letters to all interested parties that made formal submissions to Council, advising them of Council's decision.

Minutes of the meeting

Minutes of the meeting will be available three business days after the meeting on Council's website.

Audio recording of the meeting

An audio recording of the meeting will be uploaded to Council's website by 5.00pm on the next business day.


Further information may be obtained by contacting Council's Governance Department on 9391 7001.