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Public Forum is the public's opportunity to informally address Councillors on items for consideration of Council.

Public Forum sessions will be incorporated into both the Planning Committee and Council Meeting format, it is proposed that these sessions will be conducted on the first Thursday (Planning) and third Thursday (Council and Other) of the month from 4.30pm until 5.15pm. For location information and maps to the Murwillumbah Civic Centre see Contact Us.

Future Public Forum Dates

A Public Forum Session will be convened prior to Planning Committee meetings at 4.30pm until 5.15pm to enable the community to discuss items on the Planning Committee agenda.

A Public Forum Session will be convened prior to Council Meetings at 4.30pm until 5.15pm to enable the community to discuss pertinent matters other than Planning matters, with the exception of Planning matters that have been deferred for consideration at the Council meeting.

Planning Committee
 


7 November 2019 - Murwillumbah 
5 December 2019 - Tweed Heads 

6 February 2020 - Murwillumbah 
5 March 2020 - Tweed Heads 
2 April 2020 - Murwillumbah 
7 May 2020 - Tweed Heads 
4 June 2020 - Murwillumbah 
2 July 2020 - Tweed Heads
6 August 2020 - Murwillumbah 
3 September 2020 - Tweed Heads
 
Council
24 October 2019 - Tweed Heads
to allow consideration of the Annual Financial Statements.
21 November 2019 - Murwillumbah
5 December 2019 - Tweed Heads
Given proximity to Christmas Period.
20 February 2020 - Murwillumbah
19 March 2020 - Tweed Heads
16 April 2020 - Murwillumbah
16 May 2020 - Tweed Heads
18 June 2020 - Murwillumbah
No Council Meeting on 16 July 2020.
20 August 2020 - Murwillumbah
Local Government Elections 12 September 2020.

Public Forum Procedure

  1. The council may hold a public forum prior to each ordinary meeting of the council for the purpose of hearing oral submissions from members of the public on items of business to be considered at the meeting. Public forums may also be held prior to extraordinary council meetings and meetings of committees of the council.
  2. Public forums are to be chaired by the mayor or their nominee.
  3. To speak at a public forum, a person must first make an application to the council in the approved form. Applications to speak at the public forum must be received by 12.00pm on the Wednesday immediately preceding the meeting on which the public forum is to be held, and must identify the item of business on the agenda of the council meeting the person wishes to speak on, and whether they wish to speak ‘for’ or ‘against’ the item.
  4. A person may apply to speak on more than one item of business on the agenda of the council meeting. The general manager will review applications to speak on more than one item of business on the agenda of the council meeting, and determine whether in the context of other applications, it is possible for one person to speak on more than one item of business on the agenda.

    If a person applies to speak on a matter that is not an item of business on the agenda or applies to speak on more than one item on the agenda of the council meeting, the general manager, may allow that person to speak if timeslots have not been exhausted by those applying to speak on agenda items.
  5. Legal representatives acting on behalf of others are not to be permitted to speak at a public forum unless they identify their status as a legal representative when applying to speak at the public forum.
  6. The general manager or their delegate may refuse an application to speak at a public forum. The general manager or their delegate must give reasons in writing for a decision to refuse an application.
  7. More than one speaker is permitted to speak ‘for’ or ‘against’ each item of business on the agenda for the council meeting.
  8. If more than the one speaker applies to speak ‘for’ or ‘against’ any item of business, the general manager or their delegate may, in consultation with the mayor or the mayor’s nominated chairperson, increase the number of speakers permitted to speak on an item of business, where they are satisfied that it is necessary to do so to allow the council to hear a fuller range of views on the relevant item of business. To the extent possible, a balance of speakers ‘for’ or ‘against’ any item will be maintained.
  9. If more than the permitted number of speakers apply to speak ‘for’ or ‘against’ any item of business, the general manager or their delegate may, in consultation with the mayor or the mayor’s nominated chairperson, increase the number of speakers permitted to speak on an item of business, where they are satisfied that it is necessary to do so to allow the council to hear a fuller range of views on the relevant item of business. If the public forum is not fully subscribed, and there is time remaining, additional speakers may be permitted by a majority vote of the Council.
  10. Approved speakers at the public forum are to register with the council any visual or audio material to be presented in support of their address to the council at the public forum, and to identify any equipment needs no more than 12.00pm on the Wednesday immediately preceding the public forum. The general manager or their delegate may refuse to allow such material to be presented. If an approved speaker brings any visual or audio material to present on the night and has not registered it in accordance with this clause, the mayor may allow the late material to be presented.
  11. The order of speakers at the public forum is the order in which applications are received.
  12. Each speaker will be allowed five minutes to address the council. An extension of time for up to a further five minutes may be permitted by the Chairperson.
  13. Speakers at public forums must not digress from the item on the agenda of the council meeting they have applied to address the council on. If a speaker digresses to irrelevant matters, the chairperson is to direct the speaker not to do so. If a speaker fails to observe a direction from the chairperson, the speaker will not be further heard.
  14. A councillor (including the chairperson) may, through the chairperson, ask questions of a speaker following their address at a public forum. Questions put to a speaker must be direct, succinct and without argument. A speaker may ask more than two questions if permitted by the Chairperson.
  15. Speakers are under no obligation to answer a question put under clause 4.14. Answers by the speaker to questions is to be limited to two minutes.
  16. Speakers at public forums cannot ask questions of the council, councillors or council staff.
  17. The general manager or their nominee may, with the concurrence of the chairperson, address the council for up to five minutes in response to an address to the council at a public forum after the address and any subsequent questions and answers have been finalised.
  18. Where an address made at a public forum raises matters that require further consideration by council staff, the general manager may recommend that the council defer consideration of the matter pending the preparation of a further report on the matters.
  19. When addressing the council, speakers at public forums must comply with this code and all other relevant council codes, policies and procedures. Speakers must refrain from engaging in disorderly conduct, publicly alleging breaches of the council’s code of conduct or making other potentially defamatory statements.
  20. If the chairperson considers that a speaker at a public forum has engaged in conduct of the type referred to in clause 4.19, the chairperson may request the person to refrain from the inappropriate behaviour and to withdraw and unreservedly apologise for any inappropriate comments. Where the speaker fails to comply with the chairperson’s request, the chairperson may immediately require the person to stop speaking.
  21. Clause 4.20 does not limit the ability of the chairperson to deal with disorderly conduct by speakers at public forums in accordance with the provisions of Part 15 of this code.
  22. Where a speaker engages in conduct of the type referred to in clause 4.19, the general manager or their delegate may refuse further applications from that person to speak at public forums for such a period as the general manager or their delegate considers appropriate.
  23. Councillors (including the mayor) must declare and manage any conflicts of interest they may have in relation to any item of business that is the subject of an address at a public forum, in the same way that they are required to do so at a council or committee meeting. The council is to maintain a written record of all conflict of interest declarations made at public forums and how the conflict of interest was managed by the councillor who made the declaration.

Note: Public forums should not be held as part of a council or committee meeting. Council or committee meetings should be reserved for decision-making by the council or committee of council. Where a public forum is held as part of a council or committee meeting, it must be conducted in accordance with the other requirements of this code relating to the conduct of council and committee meetings.

Presentation of Written Material

You may ask the Public Officer at the meeting to distribute any materials such as written statements, drawings or photographs. If you wish to distribute such materials to each Councillor you will need to provide at least seven (7) copies and if you wish to include senior staff and the Public Officer in the distribution you will need to provide six (6) additional copies.

Electronic Information

Any person who wishes to make an electronic presentation should ensure that the presentation is provided via a USB (pen) drive and is delivered to the Murwillumbah office or emailed to Council.

Planning Committee Public Forum - Development Assessment Unit staff member Miss Janet Twohill (janett@tweed.nsw.gov.au - phone 02 6670 2529); or
Council Meeting Public Forum - Corporate Governance Unit staff member, Maree Morgan (mareem@tweed.nsw.gov.au - phone (02) 6670 2406);

by 3.00pm on the Wednesday preceding the Thursday Public Forum session of the relevant meeting. Staff can then ensure that the presentation is compatible with Council's software and that it is loaded to the Council Chamber computer desktop for easy retrieval. Computers, Data Projectors and remote controls are available in the Council Chamber, however technical staff do not attend these meetings. Speakers are also advised that personnel and meeting room resources are not always available beforehand to provide a rehearsal of presentations.

The Council Chamber/Harvard Room computers provide a range of software that can be accessed by a standard user.

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