City of South Perth to consider bans for members of public who are continually disruptive or abusive at council meetings

Stock image.
Stock image.

IN an attempt to keep the City of South Perth council meetings orderly, residents who engage in repetitive inappropriate or disruptive behaviour at meetings may face a three month suspension.

The City reviewed its Standing Orders Local Law 2007, suggesting the penalty, which officers have recommended be adopted at its December council meeting.

Despite there being no record of inappropriate and disruptive behaviour by a particular member of the public occurring on more than three occasions, City of South Perth chief executive Geoff Glass said the penalty was considered the most appropriate.

“The City wants to ensure that its council meetings are conducted in an orderly and effective manner, without interjections or offensive behaviour occurring,” he said.

“There was an incident earlier this year when particularly offensive remarks were made by a member of the public to the presiding member of the meeting.”

Inappropriate or disruptive behaviour includes, but is not limited to, interrupting or interfering with proceedings, booing or making other offensive noises, making derisive comments, refusing to give up the floor, using abusive, inflammatory or derogatory language, asking unnecessary repetitive questions and behaving in an aggressive or threatening manner.

As part of its Standing Local Laws, the City of Belmont’s Presiding Member may adjourn a council meeting for up to one hour, as a penalty for disruptive behaviour.

Similarly, the Town of Victoria Park’s penalty is to adjourn for 15 minutes, followed by an adjournment to a later time on the same day or to another day if inappropriate behaviour continues.

City of Armadale has a penalty of a $1000 fine for anyone who does not address the council with due courtesy and respect and take direction from the person presiding whenever called upon to do so.

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