What is the Draft Code of Meeting Practice?

    The Draft Code of Meeting Practice sets out how Woollahra Council must conduct its Council and Committee meetings.

    What is the legislative framework?

    Under the Local Government Act (1993), all NSW councils are required to prepare a Code of Meeting Practice for all meetings of Council and its committees, where all Councillors are members. Such meetings must be conducted in accordance with the Model Code prepared by the Office of Local Government.

    What are the key changes made by the Model Code of Meeting Practice?

    Our Draft Code of Meeting Practice reflects provisions of the Office of Local Government's own Model Code of Meeting Practice, released in December 2018. Our Draft Code contains the following new mandatory provisions:

    • New Meeting Principles: Meetings should be transparent, informed, inclusive, principled, trusted, respectful, effective and orderly.
    • Webcasting of Meetings: From 14 December 2019, we are required to webcast all Council and Committee meetings (of which all the members are councillors). This webcasting requirement may be met by posting an audio or video recording of every meeting on our website. We plan to upload audio recordings the day following each meeting for an initial six-month trial period from the date of adoption of our new Code of Meeting Practice. We will review this process in six months.
    • Mayoral Minutes: New rules limit the use of mayoral minutes without notice to cases of urgency.
    • Rules of Debate: Significant changes have been made to the ways in which Motions, Amendments and Foreshadowed Amendments are considered etc.
    Further changes are outlined in the Report to the Finance, Community and Services Committee -  15 April 2019.

    What are the objectives of the Draft Code of Meeting Practice?

    The objectives of the Draft Code of Meeting Practice are to: 

    • ensure that all meetings of Council and its Committees are conducted in an orderly, consistent and efficient manner, and according to the principles of procedural fairness and due process
    • assist with the conduct of discussion and debate during Council and Committee meetings 
    • ensure that all Councillors understand their rights and obligations during Council and Committee meetings
    • ensure that all Councillors have an equal opportunity to participate fully in meetings and that meetings foster a positive environment that is without malice and avoids insulting, improper or defamatory statements
    • act as an effective aid for good governance.

    How can I comment on the Draft Code of Meeting Practice?

    There are two ways you can comment on Woollahra Council's Draft Code of Meeting Practice online. Using our Survey/Submission tab, you can: 

    1. complete a Submission  
    2. upload a Word or PDF document. 

    Alternatively you can view the Draft Code of Meeting Practice at Council's Customer Service Centre and all Woollahra Library branches.

    The public exhibition period is from 17 April to 29 May 2019.

    Written submissions should be addressed to:

    Woollahra Municipal Council
    General Manager
    PO Box 61, DOUBLE BAY NSW  1360
    Or via email records@woollahra.nsw.gov.au