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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, Council’s Governance Rules 2020 must be adhered to.

Petitions can be submitted to any Customer Service Centre or electronically to shire@hepburn.vic.gov.au.

A petition must:

a) be in legible and permanent writing (other than pencil);

b) not be defamatory, indecent, abusive or objectional in language and content;

c) not relate to matters beyond the powers of Council;

d) bear the wording of the whole of the petition or request upon each page of the petition;

e) include the name, address and signatures of petitioners; and

f) consist of single pages of paper and must not be pasted, stapled, pinned or otherwise affixed to any other piece of paper

g) the petition or joint letter must nominate a person to whom a reply must be sent to, but if no person is nominated or is the obvious contact person, Council may reply to the first signatory which appears on the petition.

    How should a petition look?

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

    What happens to the petition?

    If the petition meets the requirements above, it will be presented to the next scheduled Ordinary Meeting of Council. 

    If the petition relates to an operational matter, Council must refer it to the Chief Executive Officer for consideration.

    Council may resolve to receive the petition and 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