Public cannot speak to councillors during meetings, under proposed changes to standing orders

MEMBERS of the public will not be allowed to communicate with their councillors during meetings without the Mayor’s say so, according to proposed changes to the City of Belmont’s standing orders.

Following a review by McLeods Barristers and Solicitors, the City has come up with a number of proposed changes to its standing orders – the laws covering local government – include banning members of the public gallery from communicating in any way with members of council during a meeting, without the consent of the presiding member.

Failing to stop when asked to do so risks being ejected from the room.

The proposal also recommended minutes recorded in council chambers only preserve an outline of public questions, not the exact statement.

Only questions submitted in writing will be preserved in full.

Breaching the standing orders may result in a fine of $1,000 plus a daily penalty of $500.

The public will have six weeks from the February 28 council meeting to make any submissions around the proposed changes.