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Council - 02 November 2009 - Item 2 - Questions Without Notice

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					COUNCIL                                                              2 NOVEMBER 2009


ITEM 4.1.             QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

FILE NO:              S051923


                    MEMORANDUM BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER


To Council:

The Department of Local Government has recently released a Meetings Practice Note
for Councils in New South Wales.

In this Note, there is reference made to Questions Without Notice. An extract from the
Practice Note is below:

‘Having an agenda item, ‘questions without notice’ is inconsistent with the provisions of
the regulations that require notice to be given of matters to be discussed at council
meetings (cl 241).

Allowing questions without notice would avoid the notice provisions of clause 241 of the
Regulation. That clause enables all councillors and the public to be aware, by reading
the agenda, of matters that will be raised at each meeting. It also enables councillors to
give careful thought to any pecuniary interest or conflict of interest they might have in a
matter, rather than having to hastily confront an issue during a meeting.’

This Council has ‘Questions Without Notice’ as a standing item on the Council meeting
agenda.

Given the clear direction from the Department of Local Government in this matter, it is
proposed that this agenda item be removed for all future meetings of Council and that
the Code of Meeting Practice be amended by the removal of clause 7.2, and subsequent
renumbering, to reflect this change.

As this amendment implements the direction from the Department of Local Government,
it is not considered necessary to publicly exhibit the proposed amended Code.

Councillors are still able to ask questions at a Council meeting by providing a ‘Question
on Notice’, have a matter debated using the ‘Notice of Motion’ provisions in the Code of
Meeting Practice or, where relevant, propose an ‘Urgency Motion’ under clause 241(3) of
the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005.


RECOMMENDATION

It is resolved that:

(A)    Questions Without Notice be removed as a standing agenda item from the Council
       agenda for all future meetings of the City of Sydney Council; and

(B)    the Code of Meeting Practice be amended by the removal of clause 7.2 and the
       renumbering of subsequent clauses.


MONICA BARONE
Chief Executive Officer
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE                                                             16262810
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