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Participating in Meetings FAQs

Who can speak at a Committee or Council Meeting?

Committee Meeting 

You may speak if you have an interest in the particular matter or have someone talk on your behalf. You can also speak as a representative of a local community organisation or authority.

Council Meeting 

You may speak if you are a resident or a ratepayer of the City of Ryde or you can have someone else talk on your behalf. You can also speak as a representative of a local community organisation or authority.

Are there any restrictions on what I can speak about?

Committee Meeting 

At a Committee Meeting, you may speak on any matter listed on the agenda for that meeting, except for 'confidential' matters under the Local Government Act eg some legal matters, tenders, personnel matters – check with the staff if you are unsure.

You may not make insulting or defamatory statements, and you should take care when discussing other people’s personal information.  Also, a member of the public may be expelled from a meeting for engaging in disorderly conduct.

Council Meeting 

You may speak on any Council related matter whether it is listed on the agenda or not, except for:

  • Matters relating to the determination of a Development Application (including any alleged breaches of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act)
  • 'Confidential' matters under the Local Government Act eg some legal matters, tenders, personnel matters – check with Council officers if you are unsure.
  • Matters that have been already listed and considered by the Works and Community Committee, Finance and Governance Committee and the Ryde Central Committee; and have then been referred to Council for determination.

You may not make insulting or defamatory statements, and you should take care when discussing other people’s personal information. Also, a member of the public may be expelled from a meeting for engaging in disorderly conduct.

Are there any rules for speaking at the meeting?

You will be required to have completed a Request to Address Council or Committee Meeting Online Form or PDF Form(PDF, 93KB) prior to speaking. Please read the form and complete all sections.

Your request to address the Meeting must be received by 12 noon on the day of the meeting. Late applications to address the meeting will NOT be accepted.

If you require an interpreter, please ensure that you complete this section of the form, specifying the particular language required (please note that Council officers will make all attempts to have an interpreter available at the meeting, however, it should be noted that this may not always be possible).

You may use and distribute printed information; sketches etc but audio-visual equipment cannot be accommodated.  The order of speakers is allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

Committee Meeting

A person may apply to speak on no more than two items of business on the agenda of a Committee meeting.

A maximum of five minutes will be allowed per person or a maximum of 15 minutes for a group (previously arranged with Council’s Civic Services Unit).

Councillors may ask speakers questions. It should be noted that speakers are under no obligation to answer any question put to them.

Council Meeting

Time is allocated at the beginning of the meeting for speakers.

A person may apply to speak on no more than two items of business on the agenda of a Council meeting.

Each speaker has three minutes – there is a warning bell after two minutes. For fairness to everyone, no extensions are given and there is no question and answer period.

No more than a total of 10 speakers are to be permitted to speak ‘for’ or ‘against’ each item of business on the agenda for a Council meeting. The order of speakers is allocated on a first-come first-served basis. A person who registers to speak after the limit of 10 speakers has been reached will be contacted by Council officers (in this case, it should be noted that speakers are still welcome to attend the meeting, however, there is no guarantee that you will be able to speak).

How do I arrange to speak at a meeting?

Complete the Request to Address Council or Committee Meeting Online Form or PDF Form(PDF, 93KB) and return to the following by 12 noon on the day of the meeting:

  • Fax to 9952 8070
  • Deliver to the Customer Service Centre - Ground Floor, 1 Pope Street, Ryde (inside Top Ryde City Shopping Centre)
  • Post to Locked Bag 2069, North Ryde 1670
  • Email to cityofryde@ryde.nsw.gov.au
  • Phone 9952 8200.

Any questions or for further information, please phone Council’s Civic Services Unit on 9952 8200.

Last updated on 15 July 2019