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Council Meetings

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A copy of the agenda will be made available on-line the Friday evening prior to the meeting.


A copy of the unconfirmed minutes will be made available on-line the Friday following the meeting.


You are able to attend a council meeting as a member of the public. All council meetings are open to the public, with the exception of when the Council decides to close the meeting to the public (in-camera meetings) in certain circumstances. Attending council meetings can be a good way to understand how Council make decisions.

While council meetings are an opportunity to observe the Council at work, they are not the place for members of the public to informally address councillors. People who have been invited to make a submission may speak when directed, but there should be no debate between the public and Councillors at council meetings.

In accordance to our Local Law No 1 (Division 8 – Public Participation, Section 89 – During Meetings (1)) time may be allocated to enable any member of the public to address the Council on an item that appears in the agenda at an ordinary meeting of the Council.

Members of the public may wish to speak at a Council meeting to express their concerns of or support for an agenda item.  A formal request needs to be provided to Council for this to occur.  The request must be lodged by 10:00am on the day of the meeting.

An Addressing Council at a Council Meeting form can be completed online here - link to form

Please also note in accordance with Local Law No 1:

(2)        Sub-clause (1) does not apply during any period when the Council has resolved to close the meeting in respect of a matter under section 89(2) of the Act unless Council resolves otherwise.

(3)        The Council may allocate a reasonable period of time not exceeding five minutes to each person who wishes to address the Council having regard to-

 (i)       The nature of the matter to be discussed;     
(ii)        Priorities in relation to other Council business;
(iii)       Other members of the community present who also wish to address the     Council;
(iv)       Whether such an opportunity has already been provided to the person;
(v)        Council policies adopted from time to time.

(4)        The Council may decide to defer discussion to a later date and the views of the person addressing the Council should be sought concerning that other date.

Any member of the public addressing the Council must extend due courtesy and respect to the Council and the processes under which it operates and must take direction from the Chairperson whenever called upon to do so.

There is always the opportunity to informally speak with Councillors either before or after a Council Meeting.


All Council decisions are made at Council meetings or through them.  They are either made at the meeting or under delegated authority to others. Council decisions are made by a majority of the Councillors present at the meeting voting in favour, providing a quorum is present.  If there is a tied vote the Mayor, who chairs Council meetings, has a second casting vote.

All Councillors present at a Council meeting may vote on every motion, unless they have a conflict of interest. The Chief Executive Officer and members of the Executive Leadership Team also attend the meeting to provide information or advice when called upon by the Council.

There are two types of Council meetings that members of the public can attend. They are:

  • Ordinary meetings of Council – these are regular meetings of Council held every month.

  • Special meetings of Council – these are meetings called by Council to discuss and decide upon specific matters, eg the Budget etc.


The agenda for a Council meeting is divided into the following areas:

Procedural Matters

  • Opening Declaration

    The Chair will read the vision and an opening prayer.

    Acknowledgement of Country

  • The Chair will lead the Councillors into an acknowledgement to the Wadawurrung People, the traditional custodians of the land.

    Apologies and Leave of Absence

  • The Chair will ask if there are any apologies of Councillors. If there are, it will be moved and seconded to accept any apologies.

    Confirmation of Minutes

  • The minutes of the previous Council meeting are then moved and seconded by Councillors if they are true and correct. If any changes need to be made to the minutes, they are noted at this time and must be agreed to by a majority of Councillors.

    Declaration of Conflict of Interest

  • The Chair requests Councillors to nominate if they have any conflict of interest with any of the agenda items. The Councillor concerned must describe the type of conflict of interest. This then means when the item is discussed by Council that the Councillor with a conflict of interest must leave the chamber for the period of debate and during the vote. The Councillor will be advised when the resolution has been voted upon so that they can re-enter the chamber. Their period of absence will be noted in the minutes.

    Assembly of Councillors

  • As per the Local Government Act, Section 76AA – Assembly of Councillors means a meeting of an advisory committee of the Council, if at least one Councillor is present, or a planned or scheduled meeting of at least half the Councillors and one member of Council staff, which considers matters that are intended or likely to be –

    (a) The subject of a decision of the Council; or

    (b) Subject to the exercise of a function, duty or power of the Council that  has been delegated to a person or committee –

    But does not include a meeting of the Council, a special committee meeting of the Council, an audit committee meeting established under section 139, a club, association, peak body, political party or other organisation

    Any written record of an Assembly of Councillors is declared at the Council Meeting.

Reports for Decision

This section forms the main part of the agenda and comprises reports submitted by Council Officers in which Recommendations are made to the Council for consideration. The Recommendations as set out in the Agenda are simply proposals to the Council for its consideration. The Council may adopt these Recommendation, amend the Recommendation, determine a completely different course of action, or it may decline to pursue any course of action.

Notices of Motion

A Notice of Motion has been put forward by a Councillor to be considered as part of the agenda. They require a decision to be made about a particular matter at the meeting rather than calling for a report to come back to Council.


Members of the community can lodge a petition with Council. A petition presented to the Council will be assessed as soon as practical and the petitioners advised of the outcome. If
the assessment of a petition requires more than one month, the petitioners shall be advised of the reason for the delay in assessment and the expected duration.

Urgent Business

This section allows for matters of an urgent nature to be considered by Council. As no prior notice has been given for relevant issue, Council must vote on whether or not the issue will be considered, and a two-thirds majority must be achieved.

Confidential Items

Some Council meetings will contain material that will be discussed “in camera”. This means that the information is confidential and all members of the gallery and media must leave the chamber. Information that is confidential is defined under section 89 of the Local Government Act 1989.

The ‘in camera’ part of the meeting is at the end of the meeting so that the gallery does not have to wait for the meeting to re-adjourn. This does not preclude the Council from moving ‘in camera’ at any stage during the meeting.


The Mayor will request Councillors to advise if they have a conflict of interest with any of the agenda items. The Councillor concerned must describe the type of conflict of interest.  This then means when the item is discussed by Council that the Councillor with a conflict of interest must leave the Council Chamber for the period of debate and during the vote.  The Councillor will be advised when the resolution has been voted upon so that they can re-entre the chamber.  Their period of absence will be noted in the minutes.

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Page Last Updated:

Monday, 18 February 2019 - 2:58pm


Council acknowledges the traditional Wadawurrung owners of this land. Council pays its respects to Wadawurrung Elders both past and present and extends that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People who are part of Golden Plains Shire.