How Council meetings work

Council decisions are made by elected councillors at Council meetings. Matters are decided by vote.

Neither the mayor nor individual councillors have the legal authority to act or make decisions on behalf of the council.

Ordinary Council meetings are open to the public.

Find out how to speak at a Council meeting.

Closed meetings

The Council may decide to close the meeting to members of the public if discussing:

  • staffing
  • the personal hardship of any resident or ratepayer
  • industrial matters
  • contractual matters
  • proposed developments
  • legal advice
  • matters affecting the security of Council property.

Decisions: how they are made

The Mayor chairs the meeting, introducing each item of business on the agenda and calling for a ‘mover’ (someone who supports it) and ‘seconder’ of the motion. Then debate on the item can go ahead.

Councillors can move an amendment, or give notice of their intention to move an alternative motion, if the motion being considered is not adopted. The debate must always be relevant to the matter before the meeting. When there are no more speakers the debate is closed. The Mayor then puts the motion to the vote. The motion can be carried or lost. If lost, an alternative motion on the matter at hand can be moved.

Voting on a motion

Voting on a motion is by show of hands. The Chairperson will call for those in favour of the motion and then those against the motion, and will declare the result to the meeting. Each Councillor present must vote on the motion. If there is an equal vote, the Chairperson has a second vote.

A Councillor may call for a division on the vote. If a division is called those voting in favour must stand in their place and then those voting against will stand in their place. The Chairperson will declare the vote carried or lost. A Councillor may change their vote between the first vote and the division.

Meeting conduct

Banyule City Council Local Law No. 2 (2015) guides conduct in meetings of Council and special committees.

Read Banyule City Council Governance Local Law No. 2.