Petitions to Council are not specifically covered by legislation, however they have a long and valued connection with government at all levels.
Council wishes to ensure that the views of the community are communicated to Councillors and considered by them in the decision making process. This is a core aspect of accountable and transparent local government and one of the ways Councillors and staff receive these views is by considering issues raised in petitions lodged by members of the community.
The way a petition is handled is governed by Mildura Rural City Council’s Governance Rules.
A petition is a joint letter or formal written document addressed to, or which is obviously intended for, the Council and is signed by three or more people, which clearly requests action in relation to a specific issue.
A petition has three main components:
- a brief statement outlining the issue of concern;
- a brief statement outlining the action you would like Council to take; and
- a list of names, addresses and signatures.
Every page of a petition must contain these three components.
A petition will be considered by Council at a Council meeting when it has been signed by three or more people.
A petition must:
- clearly indicate the issue of concern and requested action on each page;
- contain the name and address of the principal petitioner/s or petition coordinators;
- not be derogatory, defamatory or objectionable in language or nature;
- not relate to matters outside the powers of Council;
- be legible and in permanent written form;
- include names and addresses of all signatories.
Where the matter is beyond Council’s power, the response may be limited to advocating on behalf of the petitioner/s.
Petitions can be:
- posted to PO Box 105 Mildura VIC 3502; or
- emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org; or
- submitted in person to any of Council’s Service Centres.
Once a petition is received, the Governance & Risk Unit will issue an acknowledgement letter to the principal petitioner or petition coordinator confirming that the matter will be listed in the agenda of the next available Ordinary Meeting of Council.
The petition will be formally presented to Council in a report for noting and a recommendation for action. If the matter requires further investigation by relevant Council Officers, a subsequent report to Council may be necessary before a recommendation for action can be resolved.
Following resolution of Council, the principal petitioner or petition coordinator will be notified in writing of the outcome.
Personal information such as petition signatures, names and addresses will not be included in the report presented to Council. The report will only provide a summary of the petition, the number of signatures provided and a recommendation to Council.
All petitions will be presented to the next available Ordinary Meeting of Council for noting. A report will then subsequently be presented to Council outlining recommended actions to address the petition.
Any person wishing to make a submission / deputation in support of the petition, must make a written request to the Chief Executive Officer not less than 24 hours prior to the date of the relevant meeting in order that the request may be determined.
The Chief Executive Officer, in consultation with the Mayor, will determine whether to hear a submission / deputation.
Not more than two speakers may talk to a submission and each speaker shall be allowed five minutes to speak.
The Mayor reserves the right to cease a submission if he or she deems the submission inappropriate.
Further information on petitions can be obtained by contacting the Governance & Risk Unit on 03 5018 8100.