Petitions are an important way people can talk directly to government. In local government, they are the only way members of the public can get a matter listed on a Council Meeting Agenda.
There are rules about how petitions must be formatted, submitted and dealt with. The rules ensure that Councils deals with petitions consistently with how they deal with other items of business, and in a transparent manner. Council’s Governance Rules can be viewed here.
Rules for submitting petitions
You must submit the petition at least one week prior to the Council Meeting at which it is to be considered:
- by emailing an electronic copy in PDF format to firstname.lastname@example.org
- or providing a paper copy via post or in person at Council’s Beechworth Office.
A compliant petition (see criteria below) will be included in the next available Ordinary Council meeting.
For any additional advice contact Council on 1300 365 003.
How to format your petition
We strongly encourage you to use this template(DOCX, 23KB) .
To be accepted by Council, a petition must have all of the following elements. It must:
- be legible
- be addressed to Indigo Shire Council
- be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation
- be stated respectfully and be temperate in language
- state the action or remedy sought from Council on every page
- have at least one signature
- contain the signatures, names and addresses of each petitioner (a person incapable of signing may have someone else sign on his or her behalf)
- Electronic or online petitions must contain the name and email address of each petitioner or signatory, which details will, for the purposes of this rule, qualify as the address and signature of such petitioner or signatory
- not contain signatures that have been pasted or in any other way transferred or attached to it
- if from a corporation, be made under its common seal.
You may attach additional information to support the petition, but it is important that (v) above is observed.
What happens when a petition is received
Before the Council Meeting
- The first signatory to the petition will be advised the petition has been received and if it is compliant.
- The petition will be included on the Agenda for the appropriate Scheduled Council Meeting with the names and addresses of the petitioners removed. This is to protect the privacy of signatories who may not understand their details will form part of a public document.
- Councillors will receive a separate un-redacted copy of the petition.
- Council Meeting Agendas are generally available by the close of business on the Thursday prior to the meeting.
- A summary report will contain the nature of the petition and number of petitioners. The report may contain officer notes and recommendations.
At the Council Meeting
Council may pass a resolution to:
- require the CEO to provide a response to the petition in accordance with Council’s protocols for written communication; or
- require the CEO to provide a response to the petition at a future Council Meeting; or
- note the petition; or
- require any other action that is appropriate to the petition, and within the powers of Council.
The Governance Rules, and various legislation and regulations may limit the action that Council can take in response to any petition.
After the Council Meeting
- A response to the petition will be made in writing and addressed to the first signatory – please consider providing a phone number and email address separately to ensure we can contact you.
- A copy of the response to a tabled petition will be sent to all Councillors and may be included on the Agenda for a future Council Meeting as a separate report or as business arising from the Council Meeting at which the petition was acknowledged.