Public question time

The Local Government Act 1995, Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996 and the City of Nedlands Standing Orders Local Law 2009 allows members of the public to ask questions in regard to any issue relating to the City. A minimum of 15 minutes will be allowed for public question time. To make an address, please complete the public question time submission form and submit it to the CEO prior to the commencement of the meeting.

Questions tabled at Committee meetings should relate and be relevant to the work of that particular Committee. Questions tabled at Council meetings can relate to any matter within Council’s jurisdiction.

The public question time should not be confused with addresses by members of the public, and is for the tabling of questions, not for members of the community to make statements. The opportunity for members of the community to address the meeting and/or make statements is during the item called “addresses by members of the public” which follows the public question time on the agenda.

At the appropriate time in the agenda, the Presiding Member will announce the nominated person and will invite him or her to the lectern. Prior to asking a question, the speaker must state his or her name and address.

There is no requirement for questions to be tabled in writing however you are encouraged to submit your questions before noon on the day of the meeting to facilitate the provision of appropriate and adequate answers. Some questions are of a technical nature, which require sufficient working time for Administration to prepare answers to your questions prior to the meeting.

If you ask a verbal question at a meeting, the City may be unable to answer your question immediately. In this case, your question will be taken on notice and will be answered in writing at a later stage. Your question, together with the answer, will be included in the agenda and minutes of the following Council meeting, or the meeting thereafter if there has been insufficient time to research and prepare the answer. If your question can be answered immediately, both the question and the answer will appear in the minutes of the meeting at which you asked your question. 

Opening statements made before questions are not precluded but should be as brief as the question to which it relates. If a question posed by the same individual is repetitive in nature, the Presiding Member may refer to an answer given to a question on a previous occasion.

Members of the public are discouraged from asking questions which contain defamatory remarks, offensive language or questioning the competency of staff or Council members. The Presiding Member will encourage the member of the public to direct their question to an issue rather than individuals. 

The Presiding Member may nominate a member or officer to answer the question. No debate or discussion is allowed to take place on any question or answer.