Submissions, Deputations and Public Questions

Public Questions Time

What is public question time?

Public question time is an opportunity for members of the community to ask questions.

How much time is allowed to ask questions?

A minimum of 15 minutes is allowed for questions during public question time.

How are questions submitted?

If you would like to ask a question at a Council Meeting we ask that you register and submit your questions in writing before midday on the day of the meeting.  If your question/s is complex, we suggest you submit your question/s to the Chief Executive's Office as early as possible. This allows any research to be conducted so a complete and considered answer can be given at the meeting rather than your question/s being ‘taken on notice’.

When can the question/s be asked?

During the meeting, members of the public will be called forward to ask their questions as specified in the Agenda.  The Presiding Member will invite you to come forward to ask your question/s. You will move to the microphone, state your name and place of residence and then proceed to ask your questions one at a time.

The Presiding Member may limit the number of questions each person may ask if there are a large number of people wishing to ask questions.  This is to ensure an equal and fair opportunity is provided to all persons wishing to ask a question.  If you ask a question that the Presiding Member believes has been previously responded to, you will be advised accordingly. 

Please note that no debate or discussion about the question or answer will take place at the meeting.

Questions and answers will be summarised and included in the minutes of the meeting.

What happens if the questions cannot be answered at the meeting?

If your question/s cannot be answered at the meeting and an answer requires further research it will be ‘taken on notice’. A written response will be provided to you (where an address has been provided) and the response will be recorded in the agenda of the next meeting. 

To submit your public question/s, please complete the Public Question Registration Form and return it to the CEO prior to the meeting.

How to make a submission to Council

Any member of the public can make a submission to Council at an Ordinary Council Meeting with prior written notice.

You will be invited to present your submission by the Presiding Member (usually the President):

  • state your name and address and identify whether you are a ratepayer or resident of the Shire
  • ensure that the submission is relevant to one or more of the agenda items for that meeting
  • comply with any direction from the Presiding Member; and
  • complete the submission within 5 minutes

Unless the Presiding Member determines otherwise, a submission which prior notice has been given will be given priority if there is more than one submission to be made at the meeting.

To make a submission, please complete the Submission Registration form and submit it to the CEO prior to the commencement of the meeting.

How to make a Deputation to Council

What is a deputation?

A deputation is your opportunity to make a statement to Council on any item on a Council meeting agenda. An owner, applicant or any member of the public who has an interest in the item can make a deputation at an agenda forum. Deputations need to be made in person.

How do I request a deputation?

Any person or group wishing to make a deputation will need to complete a 'Deputation to Council' form and lodge it with the Shire at least 5 working days prior to the meeting. 

How many deputations are allowed?

In most instances, each person who makes a deputation will be given the opportunity to do so.

If there is a large number of deputations on a particular agenda item, all requests will be considered by the President and CEO and the number approved may be limited.  Preference will be given to a spokesperson acting for a group or association so it is suggested that a group of interested people nominate one person to speak on their behalf.

When are the deputations given to Council?

During the deputation period specified in the Agenda, the Presiding Member will call you to come forward. You or a spokesperson will move to the microphone, you will then state your name and address and provide your deputation.

What should the deputation include?

Your deputation should focus on the agenda item before Council and should address the following:

  • Do you agree with or object to the staff recommendation on the report?
  • State your reasons for agreeing or objecting to the recommendation.

How long should you speak?

Unless the Council or committee resolves otherwise, a deputation invited to attend a Council or committee meeting may address the Council or committee for up to five minutes each, unless the time is extended by the Council or committee.

What happens after the deputation has been made?

At the end of your deputation stay at the microphone. The Presiding Member will ask Councillors if they have any questions for you in order to clarify any information.

How to submit a Petition to Council

What is a Petition?

Petitions inform the Council, in a public way, of the views of a section of the community and serve as a means of placing community concerns before Council.

Electors of the Shire of Toodyay may petition the Council to take some form of action over a particular issue. For example, petitions may ask the Council to change an existing policy, local law or recent decision, or for the Council to take action for a certain purpose or for the benefit of particular persons.

A petition is to be addressed to the Shire President, be made by electors of the district and contain a summary of the reasons for the request.

Please note the following protocol for submissions of petitions. Petitions MUST:

  • be addressed to the Shire President and Councillors;
  • be made by electors of the district;
  • contain a concise statement of facts and the action sought on the front page of the petition;
  • contain the names, addresses and signatures of the elector(s) making the request, and the date each elector signed;
  • state the name and address of the person who arranged the petition for correspondence to be delivered to.  Correspondence is not sent to all the signatures on the petition.

Petitions should be presented to Council by a Councillor. The Councillor presenting the petition is required to read the petition and if necessary, request that it be referred for an Officer’s report.

Where a petition does not conform to the above, it may be treated as an 'informal' petition and the Chief Executive Officer may forward the petition to Council accompanied by an officer report.

If you wish to lodge a petition to Council, you may use this petition template.