Council Meetings

Ordinary meetings of Council are held monthly, generally on the third Monday of the month.

Meetings commence at 5.00pm and public question time is held at 6.45pm when the the gallery is invited by the Mayor to make representations on planning matters or to pose questions to Council.

PLEASE NOTE:

PUBLIC ATTENDANCE AT COUNCIL MEETINGS

The conduct of Council Meetings is currently being undertaken in accordance with the COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020. This has necessarily meant that public attendance at meetings has been restricted. Under these arrangements Council meetings have been undertaken remotely via online platforms.

While COVID-19 restrictions remain in place, Council is mindful of the need to ensure community safety and compliance with regard to social distancing and limitations on the number of persons who may gather. This obligation is balanced with the need to minimise disruption to the business of Council.

Council determined that limited public access to Council meetings would be permitted from the Council Meeting scheduled for 14 December 2020.

Attendance of the public will be restricted to those who wish to make representation or present a statement in person at the meeting, preference is to be given to individuals:

  • making representations to planning applications which are subject to statutory timeframes (limit of 4 persons per item);

    and

    • those making statements or representations on items listed in the Agenda for discussion (limited to 2 persons).

    To ensure compliance with Council’s COVID-19 Safety Plan, any person wishing to attend will be required to register their interest to attend, which is to be received by Council before 12noon 4 days (i.e. usually the Friday) preceding the meeting by emailing council@nmc.tas.gov.au or phoning Council on 6397 7303.

    On arrival attendees will:

    • be required to complete the health declaration section of their registration form; and
    • receive direction from council officers (or Council’s delegate) in relation to their access to the meeting room.

    Access to the Municipal Building will only be permitted prior to 5.00pm and between 6.30pm to 6.40pm. Public Question Time commences at 6.45pm.

    Members of the public who would prefer not to attend the meeting, but would like to ask a question or make a representation to the Council that would normally be heard during Public Question Time, may forward their question/representation to council@nmc.tas.gov.au which is to be received by Council before 12noon 4 days (i.e. usually the Friday) preceding the meeting.

    Any questions/representations received will be circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting, tabled at the meeting and recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

    These arrangements are subject to review based on any change in circumstance relating to the COVID-19 Disease Emergency.

    Council will continue to ensure minutes and audio recordings of Council meetings are available on Council’s website.

    Council Meetings

    Click on the links blow to access Council meeting publications:
    - Agendas and Attachments
    - Minutes

    2022 Council Meeting Dates

    Council has approved the following dates for the holding of Ordinary Council Meetings in 2022:

    Monday

    31 January

    Monday

    21 February

    Monday

    21 March

    Monday

    11 April

    Monday

    16 May

    Monday

    27 June

    Monday

    18 July

    Monday

    15 August

    Monday

    26 September (rescheduled from 19 September)

    Monday

    17 October

    Monday

    21 November

    Monday

    12 December

    Council Meeting Information

    The Local Government Act 1993 establishes and names the council responsible for each municipal area. The Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2015 provides a framework of standard procedures for conducting the meetings of a council and also of council committees appointed by the council.

    In addition, a council may make a by-law to provide for any supplementary procedures or to detail the conduct of proceedings at those meetings. As an example, the by-law may provide for Public Question Time at a council meeting.

    Council's Meeting Procedures Policy assists in regulating proceedings at Council Meetings and Council Committee Meetings, including:

    • Appointment of Council Representatives to Committees of Council and Outside Bodies
    • Petitions
    • Representations
    • Public Question Time
    • Audio Recording of Council Meetings

    To view these and other Council Policies, click here.

    Public Questions & Statements:
    Public Attendance meeting guidelines during the COVID-19 Disease Emergency

    The conduct of Council Meetings is currently being undertaken in accordance with the COVID-19 Disease Emergency (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020. This has necessarily meant that public attendance at meetings has been restricted. Under these arrangements Council meetings have been undertaken remotely via online platforms.

    While COVID-19 restrictions remain in place, Council is mindful of the need to ensure community safety and compliance with regard to social distancing and limitations on the number of persons who may gather. This obligation is balanced with the need to minimise disruption to the business of Council.

    Council has determined that limited public access to Council meetings will be permitted from the Council Meeting scheduled for 14 December 2020.

    Attendance of the public will be restricted to those who wish to make representation or present a statement in person at the meeting, preference is to be given to individuals

    • making representations to planning applications which are subject to statutory timeframes (limit of 4 persons per item),

    and

    • those making statements or representations on items listed in the Agenda for discussion (limited to 2 persons).

    To ensure compliance with Council’s COVID-19 Safety Plan, any person wishing to attend will be required to register their interest to attend, which is to be received by Council before 12noon 4 days (i.e. usually the Friday) preceding the meeting by emailing council@nmc.tas.gov.au or phoning Council on 6397 7303.

    On arrival attendees will:

    • be required to complete the health declaration section of their registration form to support COVID-19 tracing (in the event that it is necessary);

    and

    • receive direction from council officers (or Council’s delegate) in relation to their access to the meeting room.

    Access to the Municipal Building will only be permitted until 6.45pm, at which time Public Question Time will commence.

    Members of the public who would prefer not to attend the meeting, but would like to ask a question or make a representation to the Council that would normally be heard during Public Question Time, may forward their question/representation to council@nmc.tas.gov.au which is to be received by Council before 12noon 4 days (i.e. usually the Friday) preceding the meeting. Any questions/representations received will be circulated to Councillors prior to the meeting, tabled at the meeting and recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

    These arrangements are subject to review based on any change in circumstance relating to the COVID-19 Disease Emergency.

    Council will continue to ensure minutes and audio recordings of Council meetings are available on Council’s website.

    Disclaimer

    Important information concerning the interpretations of legislation and other policies is contained in this page. It is recommended that the disclaimer be read in conjunction with the information provided.

    Frequently Asked Questions
    When are council meetings held?

    The Local Government Act 1993 provides for four types of council meeting, including when these meetings are held:

    • Ordinary meetings of council
    • Special meetings of council
    • Meetings of council committees
    • Annual general meetings

    Ordinary Meetings

    The Mayor calls ordinary meetings of the elected members to transact council business as set out in a formal agenda. Council meetings must be held at least once every month and are not to start before 5pm, unless otherwise authorised.

    Notice of ordinary meetings must be given to councillors at least four days but not more than 14 days before the meeting. A notice of the meeting is also published in a daily newspaper circulating in the municipal area at least four days but not more than 14 days before the meeting.

    Note: Weekends and public holidays are included in the number of days in the notice provisions.

    Ordinary meetings of the Northern Midlands Council commence at 5.00pm. Click here to access the schedule of Ordinary Council meeting dates available on this website.

    Special Meetings

    The Mayor may convene a special meeting to discuss specific agenda items only. A special meeting may also be convened at the direction of the council or at the request of three or more councillors.

    Notice of special meetings must be given to councillors at least two days but not more than 14 days before the meeting. A notice of the meeting is also published in a daily newspaper circulating in the municipal area at least two days but not more than 14 days before the meeting.

    Council Committee Meetings

    A council committee meeting may be convened at any time by the chairperson of the committee. A meeting must be held if the council or council committee so directs.

    Annual General Meetings

    Council must hold an Annual General Meeting:

    • no later than 15 December in each year, and
    • not before 14 days after the date of first publication of the notice.

    A notice must be published on at least two separate occasions in a daily newspaper circulating in the municipal area that specifies the date of the Annual General Meeting.

    How do I know what the Council will be discussing?

    The General Manager prepares an agenda listing any matter to be discussed at the council meeting. The agenda will be made publicly available. Any documents relating to a closed meeting may be excluded from the public agenda at the General Manager's discretion. See Q5. "What is a closed council meeting?" for details.

    Any excluded documents are exempt from Right to Information Act 2009 provisions.

    The Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2005 prescribes that the business of an ordinary meeting of the Council or Council Committee is to be the confirmation of the minutes of any previous meeting of that Council or Council Committee, whether ordinary or special. Discussion on any matter referred to in the minutes submitted for confirmation is not to be allowed, except as the discussion relates to the accuracy of those minutes as a record of the meeting.

    The order of business for an ordinary meeting is to be in accordance with the agenda but the Council or Council Committee may, by simple majority, resolve to alter that order.

    Can I get access to the agenda before the meeting?

    Agendas are available for perusal at:

    during normal business hours.

    Ordinary Meeting Agendas are usually available from the Thursday preceding the meeting date (or 4 days prior to the meeting in the case that the meeting is not being held on a Monday).

    Special Meeting Agendas are made available 2 clear days before the day the meeting is to be held.

    Copies of an extract of the agenda or minutes of a previous meeting, other than an extract relating to a closed meeting, are available for a prescribed fee. The Agendas and Minutes of previous meetings are also available on this website, listed under publications.

    Any documents relating to a closed meeting are exempt from Right to Information Act 2009 provisions. See Q5. "What is a closed council meeting?" for details.

    Can I attend the meetings?

    All meetings of a Council or Council committee are open to the public except in the situation where the Council or Council committee decides to close a meeting if certain restricted types of matters are to be discussed or if a State Emergency has been declared and public attendance at meetings has been restricted.

    A decision to close a meeting to the public can only be made with the voted support of more than half of all elected councillors, whether or not they are present at the meeting. In the case of a council committee the vote to close the meeting can be made by simple majority of the councillors present.

    See Q5. "What is a closed council meeting?" for details. The chairperson of a meeting may remove the public or exclude any person from a closed meeting to ensure the orderly conduct of council business.

    What is a closed council meeting?

    A decision to close a meeting is made with the support of more than half the total number of councillors, whether or not they are present at the meeting. In the case of a council committee this decision can be made by a simple majority of the councillors present when any of the following matters is to be discussed:

    • personnel matters including complaints against staff of the Council
    • industrial matters relating to a person
    • contracts for the supply and purchase of goods and services
    • the security of property of the Council
    • proposals for the council to acquire land or an interest in the land or for the disposal of land
    • information provided to the Council on the condition it is kept confidential
    • trade secrets of private bodies
    • matters relating to actual or possible litigation involving the Council or staff of the Council
    • applications by councillors for leave of absence
    • the personal affairs of any person.

    The chairperson of a meeting may remove the public or exclude any person from a closed meeting to ensure the orderly conduct of council business.

    Documents relating to agenda items dealt with in a closed meeting may be excluded from the public agenda. Minutes of closed meetings will only include the fact that the matter was discussed but no details of the nature of the discussions will be recorded in the minutes, unless the Council or the Council committee determines otherwise.

    Any documents or minutes relating to a closed meeting are exempt from Right to Information Act 2009 provisions.

    Can I speak at a Council meeting?

    The Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2005 provides for members of the public to speak at a council or council committee meeting.

    If you wish an issue to be raised at a council meeting, you should first contact one or more of your local councillors and discuss your issue with them. One function of councillors is to facilitate communication between the council and the community. To view Councillors contact details, click here.

    The chairperson of a meeting, usually the Mayor, may respond to questions for which prior notice in writing has been given. If a councillor raises a question without giving prior notice, the chairperson may choose to address the answer if it is readily available or known. If this is not the case, the chairperson may request that the question be put in writing and dealt with separately from the meeting.

    The chairperson, acting on behalf of the Council, may also invite any member of the public present at a meeting to ask questions. The same considerations apply as for a question without notice raised by a councillor.

    A council or council committee may agree to a request from a delegation of persons to speak at a meeting; or it may invite a delegation of persons to attend and address a meeting. A period of time to address the meeting will normally be fixed by agreement.

    See topics numbered 7 through 9 below for related information.

    Council’s Policy 32, Meeting Procedures, adopted by Council sets out the procedures to enable a person to ask a question during "Public Question Time". Time allocated for public question time is 20 minutes and is the first item after the meal break commencing at approximately 6.45pm.

    A process also exists that allows members of the public to speak on a matter in which they have a direct interest in an item which is before the Council for decision. During “Public Question Time” a representation may be made by an individual or group or a business wishing to make a submission on a matter that has been listed in the Council agenda.

    How do I get councillors to bring a topic up?

    The functions of councillors are:

    • to represent and promote the interests of the community
    • to facilitate communication between the council and the community
    • to review the performance of the council.

    Councillors are to act in the best interests of the community when carrying out their functions.

    A Councillor may, at least 6 working days before the meeting, give written notice to the General Manager of a question to be asked at the next meeting of the Council or a Council Committee. A reply to the question on notice need not be given if the Councillor who gave the notice is not present at the meeting.

    Should you wish to contact your local councillors, click here to access their contact details or telephone Council's Executive and Liaison Officer on phone number 6397 7303 to obtain councillor contact details or email council@nmc.tas.gov.au.

    How do I get a petition presented?

    From time-to-time Council receives a petition to be tabled at a Council meeting. If the petition does not meet the legislative requirements as outlined in Part 6, Division 1, Section 57 – 60A of the Local Government Act 1993, it will not be tabled.

    To be compliant a petition must contain:

    • A clear and concise statement identifying the subject matter and the action requested; and
    • In the case of a paper petition, a heading on each page indicating the subject matter; and
    • In the case of a paper petition, a brief statement on each page of the subject matter and the action requested; and
    • A statement specifying the number of signatories; and
    • At the end of the petition:
      • in the case of a paper petition, the full name, address and signature of the person lodging the petition; and
      • in the case of an electronic petition, the full name and address of the person lodging the petition and a statement by that person certifying that the statement of the subject matter and the action requested, as set out at the beginning of the petition, has not been changed.

    Fact Sheet: How to Lodge a Petition

    Fact Sheet: Assessment of Your Petition

    How do I get input into the decision making process?

    The councillors are your representatives at ordinary and special meetings of the council. Each councillor has one vote at a meeting. A question arising at a meeting is determined by a simple majority of votes.

    A ratepayer may write to the Mayor or any councillor expressing their views and asking that a question be put to the next council meeting. They may also put their views verbally to a Councillor. Council will advertise the details of public meetings on any issue of special interest to which the general public is invited.

    A council can also invite the public to attend community consultations on various submissions or surveys. In these ways every member of the community can actively participate through a consultative process in the workings of their local council.

    A notice must be published on at least two separate occasions in a daily newspaper circulating in the municipal area that specifies the date of the Annual General Meeting.

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