PUBLIC COMMENT SOUGHT - Commencement Time of Council Meetings

Following the most recent election, the Southern Midlands Council must review and determine the commencement time for its Ordinary monthly meetings.  The Local Government (Meeting Procedures) Regulations 2015 state that a meeting is not to start before 5.00 p.m. unless otherwise determined by Council.

Note: The Annual General Meeting, held in December each year, does commence at 5.00 p.m.  

At present, monthly meetings commence at 10.00 a.m. and the Agenda includes a ‘Public Question Time’ section which commences at 12.30 p.m.

Prior to making a determination in relation to future Council meeting times, Council seeks input from the community in terms of whether there is sufficient interest to warrant meeting after 5.00 p.m., and whether this would increase the level of community attendance.

In considering this issue, there are a number of factors that need to be considered, including:

  • The anticipated level of community attendance (and interest) if meetings were held after 5.00 p.m.  
  • (or commenced earlier and extended beyond 5.00 p.m.)
  • Whether persons that may be required to address Council in respect of certain matters may be available after hours (e.g. State Government officers are generally more accessible during normal operating hours);
  • Additional costs associated with Council officers attending meetings out-of-hours;
  • The likelihood of late night travel if meetings extend late into the evening. This is particularly relevant where Council elects to meet in the smaller communities during the summer months; and
  • The ability to source additional information during office hours if an unexpected issue arises.

Prior to making a decision in respect to this matter, Council seeks feedback from the broader community.  Written submissions can be sent to the General Manager, Southern Midlands Council, P O Box 21, Oatlands, Tas, 7120 or emailed to

Submissions will be received up until the close of business on the 31st January 2019.

Posted Wednesday, 9 January 2019, 12.00pm

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