Late last year the NSW State Government published a Revised Model Code of Conduct for Local Councils and a new Model Code of Meeting Practice for Local Councils. Local Councils must adopt the new codes by 14th June 2019. Council are permitted to amend the Codes to include supplementary provisions or impose more onerous requirements. However councils must not make changes that dilute the standards prescribed in the codes.
Code of Conduct
Lane Cove Council is not proposing to implement any amendments or supplementary provisions.
To review the Draft Code of Conduct click here .
Code of Meeting Practice
The Draft Code of Meeting Practice seeks to incorporate new mandatory provisions and some non-mandatory provisions of the Model Meeting Code issued by the Office of Local Government, as well as other supplementary provisions, which are not inconsistent with the Model Code. To view the Draft Code of Meeting Practice click here.
Lane Cove Council has adopted most of the Code of Meeting Practices suggested by the NSW State Government. The main changes relate to the public forum proceedings
Lane Cove Council currently adopts a “relaxed” approach to the public forum. They allow residents to have a say on any Lane Cove issue. They have now suggested some tighter rules relating to the public forum meeting – however they are still less restrictive than the code rules.
Below is a comparison.
|Model Code||Lane Cove Code|
|Members of public may only speak on items on the agenda||Members of public may speak on any Lane Cove Council issue|
|Members of the public are only permitted to speak on a specified number of agenda items||Members of the public may raise any issue (but subject to the 3-minute speaking rule)|
|The General Manager may refuse an application to speak by a member of the public||Lane Cove Council’s General Manager does not have this power|
|If a person engages in disorderly conduct, alleges breaches of the council’s code of conduct or makes potentially defamatory statements the General Manager may refuse further applications to speak at public forums||Lane Cove Council’s General Manager does not have this power|
Public Forum Before Lane Cove Council Meeting
Although the Lane Cove Council has taken a moderate approach to residents addressing councillors before a council meeting, the new code is different to the existing practices. ITC has summarised the differences below.
|Current Lane Cove Public Forum Practice||Suggested Lane Cove Public Forum Practice|
|Members of public may speak on any Lane Cove Council issue||Members of public may speak on any Lane Cove Council issue|
|Whilst prior registration is not required Lane Cove Council asks a speaker to complete a Public Speaker Information Form. The form may be filled out just before the council meeting commences||Must complete and submit a public speaker information form by 5.00 pm on the day of the meeting|
|Person may speak on any item and raise as many issues as they would like within the 3 minutes allocated||Person may speak on any item and raise as many issues as they would like within the 3 minutes allocated|
|There is no limit on the number of speakers who can speak on a particular topic||No more than four speakers are permitted to speak for or against an item on the agenda|
|No rules about when visual or audio material is to be submitted to LCC||Speakers must register any visual or audio material in support of their argument no less than 3 business days prior to the meeting|
|Speakers and Councillors must not enter into general debate or ask questions.||
Lane Cove Councillors may ask the speaker a question. The speaker is permitted a one-minute reply
Lane Cove Council is seeking community feedback on the new codes, specifically the non-mandatory and supplementary provisions incorporated, in order to ascertain the level of support for these provisions and evaluate whether any amendments are required.
To have your say on the proposed Draft Codes, make a submission to the Lane Cove Council General Manager, by:-
- Post: PO Box 20, Lane Cove NSW 1595;
Submissions must be lodged by 5pm, Thursday 9 May 2019.
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