Public Participation

Council actively encourages community participation and provides an opportunity during Council meetings to allow for the tabling of petitions by Councillors and Officers and up to 30 minutes for the purpose of responding to questions that have been submitted by members of the community and allowing members of the community to address Council.

 

How do I submit a Question to Council?

If you would like to submit a question to the Council, please use the form below.

While Customer Service Centres are closed under COVID-19 restrictions, forms must be submitted electronically by emailing shire@hepburn.vic.gov.au with the words ‘Public Question’ in the subject line by 10am on the Monday before the Ordinary Meeting of Council.

If you submit your questions in hard copy, they will still be heard, but may be delayed to the next Council Meeting.

If you are submitting a question, it is important to remember:

  • Two questions per person, per meeting may be submitted.
  • If the question has multiple parts, each will be treated as a separate question.
  • A question may include an introduction of no more than 200 words.
  • Each meeting is allocated a maximum of up to 30 minutes for Public Participation Time.
  • You need to be present in the public gallery at the meeting in order to ask your question. *Rule suspended under COVID-19 restrictions*
  • During COVID-19 restrictions while Council Meetings are being held virtually, questions and responses will be read by the Mayor.
  • A time limit of three minutes for each question will apply but the time may be extended at the discretion of the Chairperson.

Public Question Form (PDF)

Public Question Form (Word)


How do I submit a Request to Address Council?

If you would like to address Council, you must provide a brief synopsis of your address in writing to the Chief Executive Officer by email at shire@hepburn.vic.gov.au by 10am on the Monday before the Ordinary Meeting of Council.

A time limit of three minutes for each address will apply but the time may be extended at the discretion of the Chairperson.

Presenting a Petition to the Council

Petitions are one of the ways the community can ensure their views are heard by Council.  To make sure that your petition is valid and able to be accepted by Council, The Hepburn Shire Council Governance Rules 2020 must be adhered to.

Petitions can be submitted to the Chief Executive Officer by email at shire@hepburn.vic.gov.au one week prior to the next Ordinary Meeting of Council to be included in the Agenda unless the matter which is the subject of the petition has already been acted upon.

A petition must be signed by at least 20 people to be presented at a Council Meeting.  In the case of a petition containing:

  • Fewer than 20 signatures, it will not be presented at a Council Meeting but rather will be forwarded to the relevant General Manager re response; and
  • 20 or more signatures, it will be presented by a Councillor at the Council Meeting.

How should a petition look?

Petitions should be in legible and permanent writing (not pencil), typed or printed and contain the request of the petition.

The petition must begin with the words:

‘The petitioners whose names, addresses and signatures appear hereunder petition the Hepburn Shire Council as follows:’

…and then a statement of the terms of the request must follow.

Every signatory name, address and signature must be clearly stated.

The reason for the petition must be stated on each page the signatures are collected.

The petition must be single pages of paper and must not be pasted, stapled, pinned or otherwise affixed to any other piece of paper.

What happens if a petition does not meet these conditions?

A petition which does not meet the conditions is not valid and may not be accepted by Council.  If you are concerned about any of the above issues, a Petition Template   is available to download and use.

What happens to the petition at a Council meeting?

The Chief Executive Officer will present the petition and state the request.

Council may resolve to receive the petition and to refer the matter for a report or appropriate action as required, to the next appropriate Council meeting, unless Council agrees to deal with it earlier.


What does a petition not do?

A petition relating to a planning permit application does not constitute an objection. Objections must be lodged separately with Council’s Planning Department.

Where can the regulations on petitions be found?

Hepburn Shire Council Governance Rules and Election Period Policy 

Division 9 outlines requirements for Petitions and Joint Letters.

 

Governance Rules and Election Period Policy

These are the Governance Rules of Hepburn Shire Council, made in accordance with section 60 of the Local Government Act.

Hepburn Shire Council Governance Rules and Election Period Policy 

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