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Welcome to the Shire of MERREDIN

Council Meetings

At the May Ordinary Council Meeting, Council resolved to return to holding subsequent Council Meetings in 2020 in person at the Council Chambers located on the Cnr of King and Barrack Street.

Meetings will commence as planned at 4.00 pm and members of the public are welcome to attend. 

Agendas & Minutes

The Agenda for Council's next meeting is generally made available to the public the Friday before the meeting. The Agenda can be viewed via the 'Agendas & Minutes' page on the Shire's website. Agendas and Minutes from previous meetings are also available for viewing.

View Agendas & Minutes From Previous Years

View Agendas & Minutes From This Year

Public Question Time

What is Public Question Time?

Public Question Time is a means by which members of the public can seek responses from the Council or one of its committees about issues affecting the Shire of Merredin that are of concern to them. It assists the public to be better informed about the governing of their district and it provides the local government with a mechanism to identify issues of importance in the community.

Members of the public are invited to submit questions for Public Question Time by 2.00pm on the day of the Council meeting.

What is the Public Question Time Procedure?

1. Time Frame

Council or one of its committees may close public question time prior to the expiry of 15 minutes if there are insufficient questions to occupy that time. The extension of question time beyond the minimum time is at the discretion of the Presiding Person

2. Prior to the Meeting

Members of the public shall be requested to register their intention to ask a question by submitting the online form available on the Shire of Merredin website, or completing the form provided in the Council Chambers (for Council meetings) or the relevant Committee Room (for committee meetings).

3. During the Meeting

(a) The Presiding Person will open Public Question Time with a brief statement of the procedures including:

  • the period of time set aside for question time;
  • the requirement to address all questions to the Presiding Person;
  • the request to provide in writing a person’s name, address, and details of question(s) generally in the form specified in Parts 1 and 2 attached;
  • the availability of the written procedures in the Council Chambers or Committee Room;
  • people will be called to ask their question in the order they have registered;
  • any person who has not registered will be given an opportunity to ask a question after those who have registered;
  • each person is initially allowed to ask no more than two questions or four minutes total time to ensure an equal and fair opportunity is provided to all persons wishing to address Council or the committee;
  • the right of each person, if they have further questions, to return to the end of the queue. (b) The Presiding Person will then request people to come forward in the order they registered. At this time a person is required to:
  • state their name and address; and
  • present their question.

(c) If a person has several questions, or has a question that is lengthy or complex, and has not provided such in writing on the form specified in Parts 1 and 2 attached, he or she will be requested to write any question(s) down and hand them to the Chief Executive Officer or his nominee to ensure an accurate summary of the question(s) can be included in the minutes of the meeting.

(d) The Presiding Person then determines who is to respond to the question. The Presiding Person may:

  • respond personally to the question asked
  • refer the question to another member for a response;
  • refer the question to an employee (through the CEO) for a response;
  • choose to take the question on notice; or
  • choose not to accept the question.

(f) If a question relating to a matter in which a relevant person (a member or an employee) has an interest is directed to that relevant person, he or she will:

  • declare that he or she has an interest in the matter; and
  • allow another person to respond to the question.

(g) If a person has used up their allowed number of questions or time the Presiding Person will ask if they have any more questions; if they do their request will be noted and placed at the end of the queue (if applicable) and they will be asked to resume their seat in the public gallery.

(h) The next person on the list is called.

(i) The original registration list is worked through until exhausted; after that the Presiding Person will call upon any other persons who did not register if they have a question (e.g. people might have arrived after the meeting started).

(j) When such people have asked their questions the Presiding Person may, if time permits, provide an opportunity for those who have already asked a question to ask further questions.

(k) The Presiding Person declares Public Question Time closed following the expiration of the allocated time period or where there are no further questions. However, the Presiding Person has the discretion to allow more than the minimum time for questions if required.

4. Following the Meeting

Council and its committees are required to include a summary of the questions asked and responses given in the minutes of the meeting.

If a person asked a question that needed to be taken on notice, he or she will receive a written response to the question where the person has provided contact details. This response will be included in the minutes of the following meeting.

5. Who can ask Questions?

Any member of the public can ask questions, not just an elector or people who live in the district.

Elected members do not ask questions during Public Question Time as they have other opportunities to obtain information.

6. What Kind of Questions can be Asked?

During an ordinary meeting of Council, any questions affecting the operations of the Shire may be asked, including the business listed on the agenda for a particular meeting. A response will not be provided to questions that do not relate to a matter affecting the Shire.

During a special meeting of Council only questions relating to the purpose of the meeting may be asked.

At committee meetings only questions relating to the purpose of the committee or meeting may be asked.

7. Repetitive Questions

If a person attempts to ask a question that, in the Presiding Person’s opinion, has been satisfactorily responded to at that or an earlier meeting, the person will be advised accordingly. Where necessary, the person will be referred to the minutes of the relevant meeting.

8. Making Statements

If a person attempts to use question time to make statements rather than ask questions, he or she will be asked by the Presiding Person to “state their question” or may be assisted in phrasing their question.

However, if it is necessary that a statement preface the question in order to place the question in context then that statement should be brief.

9. Questions Requiring Considerable Research

If a question is raised which requires considerable research, then the Presiding Person is at liberty to point out when a response to a question would require a substantial commitment of the Shire’s resources.

The Presiding Person may invite the person seeking the information to reconsider their request or refer the matter to the CEO for action following the meeting. The CEO can then arrange for the information to be provided or can determine in accordance with the Local Government Act 1995 that provision of the information would be an unreasonable impost upon the Shire and refuse to provide it.

10. Inappropriate Questions

If a member of the public provides a written question or attempts to ask a question which is considered to be offensive or defamatory in nature, he or she will be advised by the Presiding Person that the question will not be considered. To do so would expose the Shire to possible legal action for republishing defamatory remarks. In such circumstances, but depending on the question, the person may be invited to rephrase their question.

Similarly, the Presiding Person will refuse to accept inappropriate questions, such as those containing defamatory remarks, offensive language or questioning the competency of members or employees.

If a person does attempt to ask a question considered inappropriate or not in good faith, the Presiding Person will rule the question out of order, and it will not be recorded in the minutes.

The Presiding Person will also refuse to accept questions that relate to the personal affairs or actions of council members or employees.

Finally, the Presiding Person may refuse to accept questions relating to confidential matters, legal advice, legal proceedings or other legal processes; or that have been answered by earlier questions or questions at a previous meeting.

11. Questions Asked in Absentia

Where a person submits a question in writing for Public Question Time but fails to attend the meeting, the Presiding Person will not accept the question. In such cases the CEO will treat the question as an item of correspondence, which will be answered in the normal course of business of the organisation. It will not be recorded in the minutes.

12. Questions Asked that do not Comply with Procedures

Questions from members of the public that do not comply with these procedures or do not abide by a ruling of the Presiding Person, or where the member of the public behaves in a manner that is disrespectful of the Presiding Person, Council or committee, or refuse to abide by any direction from the Presiding Person, will be ruled ‘out of order’, and the question will not be recorded in the minutes.

13. Questions at Electronic Meetings

Where an electronic meeting is held the procedures outlined in this policy are amended to provide as follows:

Members of the public are invited to submit questions for Public Question Time by 2.00pm on the day of the Council meeting.

If the council or committee determines at the meeting to respond to the question, the question and answer will be read aloud during the 15-minute allocated time for Public Question Time, and these will also be recorded in the Council Minutes.

If these questions cannot be readily answered at or during the meeting, the council will take the question on notice and respond either by letter or at the next council meeting.

The Council may decide at the meeting in the event of a public health emergency, state of emergency or direction issued under the Public Health Act 2016 or the Emergency Management Act 2005, it is not appropriate to respond to the question at the meeting.

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Petitions

What is a Petition?

Any elector or group of electors may petition the Council to take action on an item of interest.  For example, petitions may ask the Council to change existing policy, Local Law, decisions of Council or take action for a certain purpose or for the benefit of particular persons.

The petition must relate to a matter Local Government can act on.

Petition Requirements

The Shire of Merredin Standing Orders Local Law 2017 sets out a number of requirements governing the format and presentation of petitions. These are designed to ensure the authenticity of petitions and protect the intentions of petitioners and the Council.

A petition is to:

  • Be addressed to the President
  • Be made by electors of the district
  • State the request on each page of the petition
  • Contain the names, addresses and signatures of the electors making the request, and the date each elector signed
  • Contain a summary of the reasons for the request
  • State the name of the person to whom, and an address at which, notice to the petitioners can be given
  • Be in the form prescribed by the Local Government Act and Regulations.

Getting a Petition Presented

A petition can be presented to Council at an Ordinary Council Meeting. An Elected Member or the Chief Executive Officer can present a petition. The initiator is to ensure the petition is forwarded to a Councillor or the Chief Executive Officer prior to the start of the meeting at which they would like the petition presented. 

Presentation of a petition does not mean the Shire agrees with its content.

Details of dates, times and location of Ordinary Council Meetings can be obtained here.

What happens at the Council Meeting?       

At Item 6. of the Order of Business on the Agenda, the Councillor or the Chief Executive Officer presenting the petition will read out the name and address of the initiator of the petition, a summary of the reasons for the petition along with the number of signatures collected.

At the time of presentation, no discussion or voting on the subject matter of a petition takes place.

The meeting is not to vote on any matter that is the subject of a petition presented to that meeting, unless:

(a)     The matter is the subject of a report included in the agenda

(b)     The Council or Committee has considered the issues raised in the
          petition.

What Happens Next?

Upon receiving a petition, the Local Government is to submit the petition to the relevant Officer to be included in his or her deliberations and report on the matter that is the subject of the petition.

A staff member will advise what action will be taken when dealing with the petition. A report may be prepared and presented to Council on the issue.

Even though petitions may seem to produce no immediate or obvious result, they serve as a way to make Council aware of community concerns.

The Shire has a petition template you can use as a guide. Download the petition template here.

Submit Your Petition

  • Electronically by email records@merredin.wa.gov.au
  • In person at the Administration Centre
  • By post to PO Box 42, Merredin WA 6415
  • Provide to an Elected Member.

Council Meeting Dates

Meeting Details

July Ordinary Council Meeting

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

All members of the public are welcome to attend.

View Meeting Details

August Ordinary Council Meeting

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

ALL members of the public are welcome to attend.

View Meeting Details

September Ordinary Council Meeting

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

ALL members of the public are welcome to attend.

View Meeting Details

October Ordinary Council Meeting

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

ALL members of the public are welcome to attend.

View Meeting Details

November Ordinary Council Meeting

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

ALL members of the public are welcome to attend.

View Meeting Details

December Ordinary Council Meeting

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

ALL members of the public are welcome to attend.

View Meeting Details