Remaining issues with Meeting Procedure Local Law

Hi all,

It’s crunch time for local democracy!

There has been some improvements in the latest draft that will go for final decision at the public Council meeting this Monday, 14th October.  Online petitions are now allowed and the changes to the way rescission motions are dealt with have been.

However there are still the following major issues below so contacting Councillors and attending the public meeting on this Monday, 14th October at 7pm at the Dandenong Council Chambers, 225 Lonsdale St, Dandenong (cnr Walker St) is critically important.

Click on this link – Councillor Contact Details – to get the phone numbers and email addresses of the current Councillors.  What is most effective is a phone call, then what is next most effective is an SMS, then an email. Phone calls are best because a personal connection influences the most. It’s harder to say no to someone on the phone and also Councillors are impressed by the effort.

Kind Regards,





a) An 8 min
limit on
question time.
  • Currently there is no limit and yet public Council meetings still rarely go for more than 2 1/2 hours (and often earlier).
  • Councillors serve us best by having no limit on how many questions they can ask in public on resident or policy issues.
  • The 8 minutes is for both questions and answers and the only extension is at the discretion of the Mayor and only to be allow a final question to be answered.
  • 8 minutes only allows three short questions to be asked and answered.  These three questions may only be about one issue!
  • Given that Greater Dandenong Council meetings usually finish around 9 pm  what is the real need behind restricting Councillor question time?
  • Why would Councillors want to gag themselves if at a particular meeting they needed to ask a lot of questions?
  • 8 minutes really allows only three basic questions to be asked and answered without follow up questions if an answer is unclear or Council officers are being evasive.
  • It’s a ridiculously short amount of time.
b) Not implementing verbal question time
  • At the moment residents have to submit a form (paper or online) and the CEO reads out their questions at the Council meeting.
  • Residents should have the ability to ask questions themselves, not just have them read out by someone else.
  • The 2017 3 month trial of this at Greater Dandenong had no issues and many Councils across Melbourne have been introducing it – include Knox and Monash nearby.
  • That the public should be able to ask their own questions for themselves as many Councils are slowly introducing.
  • They should be able to participate in local democracy directly.
  • There was no issues in the trial so what is the problem?
  • Councils nearby like Monash and Know have introduced it so why not Greater Dandenong?
c) Having public question time not at the start of the meeting
  • The previous draft had the public question time near the start of the meeting (after planning items).
  • Now it has been moved to the middle of the meeting (before Councillor question time).
  • This will mean that public questions will now be asked after all of the agenda items have been considered
  • It is good that Council have moved public question time to earlier in the meeting.
  • However the draft that went out for exhibition had it much nearer to the start after the planning items. This new draft pushes it to the middle of the meeting just before Councillor reports. Now if a member asks a good question about an agenda item Councillors won’t hear the question and the answer until after the debate. Why this change when Councillors could be informed by the answer they receive?