Bringing order and consistency to local council meetings in WA

  • The Cook Government is delivering reforms to standardise local council meeting rules
  • Consultation on proposals to simplify local council meetings is now open

The Cook Government has released a consultation paper today with the aim to create simplified meeting procedures for all Western Australian local governments.

The proposal will set a new standard for dealing with disruption and disorder at meetings.

Having a consistent approach to local government council and committee meetings will:

  • make it easier for people to understand, participate and observe council meetings, wherever they are in WA;
  • provide consistent rules on how meetings are held;
  • reduce costs by removing the need for each local government to develop and review local laws;
  • allow Mayors and Presidents to silence, but not remove, council members who are disorderly – while members of the public who are disorderly can be removed; and
  • ensure meetings do not run too late, with meetings to be adjourned at 11pm.

The proposed regulations will replace council procedures, standing orders and local laws.

The consultation paper and associated survey questions can be viewed or downloaded at Submissions close on Wednesday, 29 May 2024.

This paper continues extensive public consultation to inform the Cook Government’s local government reforms, which are the most significant changes to local government in Western Australia in more than 25 years.

As stated by Local Government Minister Hannah Beazley:

“The public expect council meetings to be a forum for respectful discussion and constructive debate, focused on how local governments can best serve their communities.

“Unfortunately, we have seen occasions where meetings have become disorderly, and times when a vocal minority have unfairly dominated debates, while others are drowned out.

“Having Statewide consistency in meeting rules will make it easier and fairer for anyone to engage in council meetings, ensuring everyone has a say in informing decisions.”

/Public Release. View in full here.