Meetings

Council meetings will re-open to the public from 15 March 2022. For people who cannot attend in person, meetings can also be viewed online via Council’s live stream platform.

Council generally holds two formal meetings each month, except January, June and December, where only one Council meeting is held. At Council meetings, Councillors debate issues, make decisions, approve proposals, fulfil the statutory requirements of the Council, approve its budget and plan for the future. 

View the Council Meeting Schedule for specific meeting dates.

Council Meetings allow you to register a submission on any matter.

If you want to make a presentation you must register a Public Presentation Submissions before the meeting.

All meetings are open to the public and commence at 7:00pm in the Council Chamber, Whitehorse Civic Centre, 379 Whitehorse Road, Nunawading.

If you can't attend a meeting in person, it can be watched online via a live stream of the meeting (as its being conducted) or viewed as an archived meeting (after the event) by visiting Live Council Meetings (usually available within 48 hours).

Council meetings are conducted in accordance with its adopted Governance Rules ( PDF 280.28KB)

About Council Meetings

The following information has been prepared to assist residents and other interested persons gain a better understanding about formal Council meetings.

Local Government in Australia

Local Government is the 'third arm' of government in Australia, alongside the state and federal governments. It is the most accessible level of government for the average citizen.

The City of Whitehorse is one of 79 municipalities in Victoria, which range from big metropolitan cities to small country shires. The City of Whitehorse, or Council, like the State and Federal Governments, has a 'legislature' made up of elected representatives (Councillors). Councillors are concerned citizens who have offered themselves for election as representatives of the residents of the City's electoral wards. They receive no salary, just an annual allowance.

The Council employs specialist officers to administer its affairs and provide its services. The Council's administration is headed by its Chief Executive Officer.

Whitehorse Council conducts a Council Meeting once every two weeks. 

The Council: Its Purpose and Function

The Council acts like the Board of Directors of a company, determining policies and initiatives and completing the business of the municipal organisation.  

The Meeting

At a Council Meeting, Councillors debate issues, make decisions, approve proposals, fulfil the statutory requirements of the Council, approve its budget and plan for the future.

A copy of the Council meeting agenda may be viewed and easily accessible from the Council website, Wednesday evening prior to the meeting.

Procedures of the Meeting

The Mayor is the Chairperson at the meeting. The procedure of Council Meetings is laid down in its Governance Rules and an agenda, which lists the order of business for the respective meetings.

The meeting begins at 7:00pm with the acknowledgement of the Wurundjeri people as the traditional owners of the land. Minutes of the previous meeting are confirmed, and Councillors disclose if they have a conflict of interest in any item on the agenda.

By law, Councillors must identify matters where a conflict of interest exists.

Officer's reports cover issues in the officer's area of responsibility and make recommendations that require a Council decision or policy direction. The Council may resolve to adopt, change or reject the officer's recommendation, or just note the report, which means no action will be taken.

Motions and Amendments

A proposal being put to the Council is called a motion, and must be moved and seconded by two Councillors. If another Councillor wishes to change the motion, he or she may move an amendment to it. This may also be amended, and so on. If an amendment is defeated, another may be moved. When the debate is finished, the amendment is voted on, and if it is carried, it becomes part of the motion, which is then voted on.

At any time during the debate a Councillor may foreshadow a motion to inform the Council of an intention to move a motion at a later stage in the meeting. A foreshadowed motion will have precedence over any subsequent motion.

Points of Order and Divisions

During the debate, a Councillor may call a point of order. This is an objection raised on the grounds that a suggested action is not in accordance with proper procedure. The Mayor will rule on this and the Mayor's decision is final.

After a vote has been taken, a Councillor may call for a division whereby every Councillor must indicate whether they voted for or against the matter. This division is recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

Decisions in Camera

The Council meetings are open to the public but the Local Government Act 2020 states that certain types of business may be discussed and decisions made in camera (a closed meeting). These are matters relating to Council business information that would prejudice Council’s position in commercial negotiations if prematurely released, security information which may endanger the security of Council property or the safety of any person, land use planning information if prematurely released is likely to encourage speculation in land values, law enforcement information, legal information subject to legal professional or client legal privilege, personal affairs information of an individual, private commercial information. These are usually conducted at the end of the agenda when Council resolves to close the meeting and go into camera. The public will be asked to leave at that time and the doors are closed.

Public Presentation Submissions

Members of the public can make a presentation submission to a Council Meeting. For further information on how to make a submission, visit Public Presentation Submissions.