To provide clear and transparent information to members of the public submitting questions at an Ordinary Council Meeting that is open to the public.
How to submit a public question
All questions proposed to be asked during Public Question Time must follow the following process in order to be accepted at the meeting.
- A member of the public may submit questions via electronic or letter means
- Questions must relate to the functions of local government
- Questions must not take the form of a statement for a personal opinion
- Name and address must be provided
- Questions should be submitted to the Chief Executive Officer by 12pm (noon), 5 business days prior to the meeting date
A member of the public may speak for no longer than 5 minutes or ask that the Chief Executive Officer read it on their behalf.
What happens once a public question is received via electronic or letter means
- If a question is provided by 12pm (noon), 5 business days prior to the meeting date, Council will endeavour to provide a response at the meeting
- If a question is unable to be answered within the timeframe, Council will advise and provide an estimated date for the question to be answered
- Public Question Time must be attended for the question and answer to be read aloud by the Chief Executive Officer, otherwise the answer will only be tabled in the minutes. The response will be forwarded to the person asking the question in writing following the meeting
- Debate or discussion on a response is not permitted
- Responses can be given from the Chief Executive Officer, who may defer to a General Manager or the Chair. The Chief Executive Officer may also take the question on notice. A response should be given to the questioner in writing within 5 business days in this case
- The Chief Executive Officer may reject a question that is considered either offensive, inappropriate, reflects adversely on the Council, similar in nature to be discussed at that Ordinary Meeting or a question asked within the previous 3 months
In instances where the Chief Executive Officer refuses to accept a question for the purpose of Public Question Time, the questioner will be advised of the reasons for such actions.
Questions can be submitted via:
Post: City of Darwin GPO Box 84 Darwin NT 0801
Delivered to: City of Darwin Customer Service Desk located at the Civic Centre Harry Chan Avenue Darwin
A petition may be received from only residents, ratepayers and electors of the City of Darwin local government area.
Petitions must be provided to an Elected Member who will present the petition to a meeting.
The Elected Member who presents the petition must be informed on the subject matter, state the nature of the petition and read the petition at the Council Meeting.
The petition can be in electronic or paper format, provided it meets the following requirements:
- The reason for the petition is stated clearly and in plain language, if paper format this must be clearly displayed at the top of each page
- A main contact name and contact details (address and email) are provided, to enable follow up from Council
- The petition does not contain any language or subject matter that is disrespectful or likely to be considered defamatory to any person
- A petition may be presented to a meeting by a member who, before presenting the petition, shall, as far as practicable, become acquainted with the subject matter of the petition
No debate is permitted on a petition when presented to a meeting.
The only motion that is moved is that the petition be received and referred to a Council Officer for consideration and a report to the Council.
Petitions to Council will be presented and dealt with in accordance with the City of Darwin By-Law 153.
Examples of petitions
Some examples of issues followed up by petitions could be, a request for a walkway closure or new equipment for a suburban council playground.
(download City of Darwin template)