18-35 – The new Model Code of Meeting Practice for Local Councils
What’s new or changing?
- The new Model Code of Meeting Practice for Local Councils in NSW (the Model Meeting Code) has been finalised and will soon be prescribed by the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005.
- The Minister for Local Government has released the soon to be prescribed Model Meeting Code for the information of councils and joint organisations. A copy of the Model Meeting Code is available on the Office of Local Government’s (OLG) website at www.olg.nsw.gov.au.
What this will mean for your council
- The Model Meeting Code has been released so that councils and joint organisations can familiarise themselves with it ahead of its prescription.
- OLG will provide more detailed guidance when the new Model Meeting Code is prescribed.
- Once the Model Meeting Code is prescribed, transitional arrangements will apply to its adoption by councils. Detailed guidance will be provided on this once the Model Meeting Code is prescribed. As a general rule however, councils should endeavour to adopt a code of meeting practice based on the Model Meeting Code within six months of its prescription.
- Irrespective of whether councils have adopted a code of meeting practice based on the Model Meeting Code, all councils (but not joint organisations) will be required to webcast meetings of the council and committees of which all members are councillors within 12 months of its prescription. The webcasting requirement may be met simply by posting an audio or video recording of the meeting on the council’s website.
- Before adopting a new code of meeting practice, councils will still be required to exhibit a draft of the code of meeting practice for at least 28 days and provide members of the community at least 42 days in which to comment on the draft code. This requirement does not apply to joint organisations.
- Councils and joint organisations will be advised by a further circular when the Model Meeting Code is prescribed.
Where to go for further information
- For more information, contact the Council Governance Team by telephone on 02 4428 4100 or by email at email@example.com.