Glenorchy City Council holds different types of meetings including ordinary and special meetings.
Meetings of Council are governed by the procedures set out in Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2015. Council has a Meeting Procedures Policy which fills in the procedural gaps that the Regulations don’t cover. Meetings of the Glenorchy Planning Authority are governed by the same procedures as meetings of Council.
You can view those documents below:
On this page you will find the answers to some frequently asked questions about Council meetings and procedures. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on this page, you can contact us.
Ordinary Council meetings
Ordinary meetings are regular meetings at which Council discusses ordinary business and any other business on the agenda. These meetings must be held at least once in each month.
Ordinary meetings of the Glenorchy City Council are held at 6 pm on the last Monday of each month at the Council Chambers, 374 Main Road, Glenorchy. However, because physical distancing requirements have reduced capacity in the Council Chambers, the best place to watch meetings is online via Council’s Facebook page.
At least once a year the Council will publish the dates of all ordinary meetings for the next 12 months in the Mercury (usually in December each year).
Special Council Meetings
A special meeting is a Council meeting which takes place outside of the ordinary meeting schedule. Special meetings are usually called to discuss specific items of business that are unable to be considered at a normal meeting (for example, urgent items)
At special meetings, Council only considers the specific agenda items that are called. There is no public question time, and Council does not set aside time for Councillors to ask general questions on notice.
The Glenorchy Planning Authority’s purpose is to consider and make decisions about land use and planning matters on behalf of the Council. Unlike some other Councils, planning decisions are not considered at meetings of the Council, but are instead delegated to the Glenorchy Planning Authority.
Matters considered by the Glenorchy Planning Authority include whether to approve development applications submitted to the Council. It also considers various other matters under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 and other State legislation.
The Glenorchy Planning Authority usually meets once a month on Mondays at 5pm, unless there is a clash with a public holiday.
The General Manager prepares an agenda for each meeting. The agenda lists any matter to be discussed at the meeting and includes copies of reports to Council that Aldermen consider when making decisions. The business of a meeting is conducted in the order it is set out in the agenda unless Council approves otherwise by an absolute majority (which is six votes, no matter how many Aldermen have attended the meeting).
Council can only consider matters that are on the agenda, unless the General Manager certifies it is an urgent matter and the Councillors allow it by an absolute majority.
Agendas are published at least four days before an ordinary Council meeting or two days before a special meeting.
You can also ask for a copy of the agenda by visiting Council’s Customer Service Centre or calling us 6216 6800. Agendas and supporting documents are generally provided free of charge, however Council may charge a small fee in some instances. Council also provides copies of the agenda at the Council meeting for people attending in person.
Copies of any associated reports and documents, other than those relating to matters being considered in closed Council, are also available for public inspection as above.
At the moment, due to the need to upgrade our Council Chambers to make them COVID safe, members of the public are not able to attend Council or GPA meetings in-person. However, all meetings are streamed live online via Council’s Facebook page.
Physical attendance at meetings will re-commence from late August 2021 onwards. However, because physical distancing requirements have reduced the capacity of our Council Chambers, bookings will be required and the number of people who can attend will be limited. The best place to watch meetings will therefore be online.
Information about how to book to attend meetings will be published on this website shortly.
The Council may decide to close a meeting because any of the matters listed below are to be discussed. When preparing the agenda, the General Manager usually lists all the items to be considered in closed Council in their own section.
When Council enters a closed session, any members of the public in attendance will be required to leave. If the meeting is being streamed online, the video stream will cease.
The reasons Council can vote to consider something in closed Council are set out in regulation 15 of the Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2015, as follows:
- personnel matters, including complaints against an employee of the council and industrial relations matters;
- information that, if disclosed, is likely to confer a commercial advantage or impose a commercial disadvantage on a person with whom the council is conducting, or proposes to conduct, business;
- commercial information of a confidential nature that, if disclosed, is likely to –
- prejudice the commercial position of the person who supplied it; or
- confer a commercial advantage on a competitor of the council; or
- reveal a trade secret;
- contracts, and tenders, for the supply of goods and services and their terms, conditions, approval and renewal;
- the security of –
- the council, councillors and council staff; or
- the property of the council;
- proposals for the council to acquire land or an interest in land or for the disposal of land;
- information of a personal and confidential nature or information provided to the council on the condition it is kept confidential;
- applications by councillors for a leave of absence;
- matters relating to actual or possible litigation taken, or to be taken, by or involving the council or an employee of the council;
- the personal hardship of any person who is resident in, or is a ratepayer in, the relevant municipal area.
Minutes of closed meetings will only include the fact that the matter was discussed but no details of the meeting will be recorded in the minutes. The reasons why the item was closed are also published in the minutes.
Generally, no, as the Local Government Act does not provide for or allow the public to speak at Council meetings.
If you want an issue to be raised at a Council meeting, you should first contact one of our Aldermen and discuss your issue with them. The function of an Alderman is to facilitate communication between the Council and the community.
The other limited reasons you may be able to participate in a Council meeting are set out below.
Public Question Time
At each Council meeting, at a time provided for in the agenda, up to 15 minutes in total will be provided for any person who is a resident or ratepayer within the municipal area and present at the meeting to ask questions.
A person seeking to ask a question must first stand and identify themselves and also state the suburb they live in.
No person will be entitled to ask more than two questions, except at the discretion of the chair.
All questions asked must be directed to the Chairperson (usually the Mayor), who will:
- answer the question themselves, or
- refer the question to another Councillor, the General Manager or a Council officer.
Every attempt will be made to provide an answer to your question, however sometimes the question will need to be taken on notice, for an answer to be provided at a later time.
Debate on questions cannot be entered into and Council cannot make decisions on issues that arise in public question time.
Deputations (Addresses to Council Meetings)
Members of the public can make a request to address a Council meeting about a particular topic, which can help Council to understand the issues affecting Glenorchy and better represent the interests of the community.
To submit a request to address a Council meeting, you can contact us at our Customer Service Centre or send us email (please include a contact number in your message) before midday on the Friday before the meeting.
If you have not received a response by 4pm on the Friday before the Council meeting, please contact us again.
As a resident, you are encouraged to speak to Council Officers or Councillors at any time on matters which may be of concern and this may be a more immediate way of gaining the relevant information which you require.
The functions of Aldermen, as set out in the Local Government Act are:
- to represent the community
- to act in the best interests of the community
- to facilitate communication by the Council with the Community
- to participate in the activities of the Council and
- to undertake duties and responsibilities as authorised by the Council.
As a resident, you are encouraged to speak to Aldermen at any time about matters which may be of concern and this may be a more immediate way of gaining the relevant information which you require. The contact details for our Aldermen are here.
At Council meetings, Aldermen can ask questions:
- ‘without notice’, meaning no prior notice of the question has been given, or
- ‘on notice’, where the question has been submitted in writing at least seven days before relevant meeting.
Questions on notice received more than 7 days before the meeting are published in the agenda. Questions asked without notice are published in the minutes.
Aldermen can also move motions at a Council meeting. Notice of a motion must be given at least seven days before the meeting for inclusion on the agenda. The General Manager will provide qualified advice on the motion to assist the other Aldermen to decide whether to vote for or against the motion.
The Chairperson of the meeting may refuse to accept a motion on notice if it is defamatory, continues offensive language or is unlawful.
Visit our page on Petitions here, for detailed information about preparing and submitting petitions to Council.
At ordinary and special Council meetings, your Aldermen are your representatives. Each Alderman 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 an Aldermen expressing their views and asking that a question be put to the next Council meeting.
A ratepayer may also put their views verbally to an Alderman.
Council, in accordance with its Community Engagement Framework will conduct consultation on many matters that are of interest to the community including on specific issues or proposed projects. Members of the public are encouraged to participate in Council consultation by visiting our Let’s Talk, Glenorchy consultation portal.