What is an informal gathering or discussion?
Informal gatherings provide a valuable opportunity to enhance Council decision-making processes by providing opportunities for Council Members to become better informed on issues and seek further clarification. Informal gatherings, however, should not be used, or be seen to be used, as a replacement for full debate and decision-making at Council meetings or Council Committee meetings. Open and transparent Council meetings and Council Committee meetings underpin representative democracy and ensure public confidence in Council's decision-making processes.
A 'designated informal gathering or discussion' is an event organised and conducted by or on behalf of a council or CEO to which members (of the council or a committee) have been invited and involves discussion of a matter that is, or is intended to be, part of the agenda for a formal council or committee meeting. These gatherings are chaired by the CEO or a senior officer and formal minutes are not recorded. Unless a specific exemption applies, these gatherings are open and members of the public are welcome to attend however they generally will not be provided with the opportunity to participate in the discussion or to address the Council Members present.
Council informal gatherings are governed by an Informal Council and Council Committee Gatherings and Discussions Policy.
Who can attend?
Informal gatherings and discussions are open to the public unless listed as a confidential item (see below). The gatherings commence at 6.30pm (or otherwise advised) at the venue shown below. For the Workshop held at Woodside on the second Tuesday of the month, the first 10 minutes will be an opportunity for members of the public to address the Council Members. Informal gatherings also include meetings of Council's various Advisory Groups.
Dates and discussion items