PEOPLE wanting to attend council meetings in the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale will now be asked to sign an attendance register and could face penalties of up to $1000 if they cause a disturbance.
Shire president John Erren said the register was not a compulsory requirement but a good safety measure and to ensure members of the public were aware of the level of behaviour expected of them.
“An attendance register is generally not required when people treat each other with mutual respect,” he said.
“The Shire’s Standing Orders Local Law has been in place since 2002, the attendance register has been introduced in order to facilitate clause 8.6 of the Local Law.”
By signing the register, people will be agreeing to comply with the Shire’s Standing Orders relating to meeting procedures and conduct.
According to the standing orders, people are to extend due courtesy and respect to the council or committee and the processes under which they operate, and must take direction from the person presiding.
A maximum penalty of $1000 for each offence at any one meeting could be imposed.
The preamble of the attendance register goes on to say that no person observing a meeting is to create a disturbance at a meeting by interrupting or interfering with the proceedings, whether by expressing approval or dissent, by talking or by any other means.
Again, a maximum penalty of $1000 per each offence could be applied, and failure to comply may result in a direction to leave the meeting.
City of Armadale Mayor Henry Zelones said Armadale did not have an attendance register but did have similar standing orders with $1000 penalties.
In addition, penalties of $1000 could be applied to any member of council, committee or member of the public who uses offensive or objectionable expressions in reference to another member, council employee or other person.
“Residents in the public gallery are only requested to provide a name and address if asking a question during public question time during an ordinary meeting of council,” Cr Zelones said.