Public gallery conduct standards

Our Council and Committee  meetings are governed by ‘rules’ to allow the timely and efficient processing of business. We also have a Code of Meeting Practice for Councillors, staff and delegates.

The Councillors are the elected members of the Council who debate issues and make decisions. Council Officers give advice to the Councillors and, after meetings, ensure that the decisions of Councillors are actioned.

The matters to be considered at the meeting are itemised on the Agenda and, usually, have an officer’s attached report which summarises the issues concerned, draws a conclusion and makes a recommendation.

Closed meetings

There are occasions when Council needs to discuss items of a confidential nature. The reason for confidentiality is included in the agenda and summarised prior to discussion.

Under the Local Government Act 1993, if the Council moves into “Closed” mode, due to confidentiality, all members of the gallery including media must leave the Chamber.

Councillor workshops are also held from time to time and these are open to the public, with the exception of “closed” sessions when confidential items are listed.

Public Gallery

The Public Gallery is at the rear of the Council Chamber. It can seat up to 62 people and there is also space for wheelchairs as well as access ramps. There is a designated area for Media and Council Staff. A hearing loop is available on the right hand side of the Chamber for the hearing impaired.

The meeting agendas are available on the week prior to the meeting and can also be collected from the back of the gallery prior to the start of the meeting.

Gallery conduct

Council meetings are regarded as a public gathering. Therefore, any person making a remark or acting in a way which is offensive, defamatory or discriminatory should consider the legal implications before doing so.

While in the gallery, we ask that you observe the following;

  • Although you are seated close to the Mayor and Councillors, you may not try to speak to them or Council officers during meetings or to pass them any notes.
  • You can address Councillors at Community Forums, however you will need to arrange this with Council at least one week prior to the forum.
  • Do not interrupt meeting procedures or engage in disorderly conduct.
  • Filming, photographing or recording (video and audio) of any type is not permitted without prior written permission of the General Manager in accordance with the Code of Meeting Practice. Members of the media are asked to identify themselves to the appropriate Council Officer.
  • Any items which could cause discomfort or harm to Councillors, Council Staff or other members of the public are not permitted.
  • Mobile phones must be switched off or on silent setting during the course of the meeting.
  • Food and drink are not permitted in the Chamber.

Eviction from the gallery

The Chairperson may expel you from the meeting for disorderly conduct, or have you removed by the police if necessary.

Community forums

Members of the public wanting to make a presentation to a Community Forum are to make prior arrangements by contacting AlburyCity and complete a presentation summary which will be included in the Agenda for Council information.

Minutes

The Draft Minutes of all Council and Committee meetings will be available as soon as practicable after the meeting. These are confirmed at the next Council meeting. All Council and Committee Meetings as well as Community Forums are audio recorded for administrative purposes in accordance with our Code of Meeting Practice.

In addition, Council and Committee meeting minutes are live-streamed and recorded and appear on the AlburyCity Meetings You Tube Channel.

If you have any further queries or comments in relation to Council meetings, please contact AlburyCity Executive Support on Ph: 6023 8111.