The Model Code of Meeting Practice provides a uniform set of meeting rules for councils across the State to help ensure more accessible, orderly, effective and efficient meetings. The code applies to all meetings of councils and committees of councils of which all the members are councillors (committees of council). Council committees whose members include persons other than councillors may adopt their own rules for meetings unless the council determines otherwise.
Adoption and application
The Model Meeting Code comprises of mandatory and non-mandatory provisions. Councils must adopt a code of meeting practice that incorporates the mandatory provisions of the Model Meeting Code no later than 12 months after the next ordinary council elections. However, as of 14 June 2019, any provisions of the council’s meeting code that are inconsistent with the mandatory provisions of the Model Meeting Code will automatically cease to have any effect to the extent that they are inconsistent with the mandatory provisions of the Model Meeting Code. Councils are required to consult with their communities prior to adopting a code of meeting practice. See Circular 18-35 The new Model Code of Meeting Practice for Local Councils for further information.
Webcast of meetings
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 from 14 December 2019. The webcasting requirement may be met simply by posting an audio or video recording of the meeting on the council’s website.
OLG is seeking to provide in its guidance a range of case studies of different webcasting practices. These will offer councils considering options for webcasting their meetings a broad range of examples to draw from. OLG is asking for submissions from councils that are willing to be included as a case study. See Circular No. 19-10: Consultation on webcasting guidelines for further information.
- Council Circular 18-45 – Commencement of the new Model Code of Meeting Practice for Local Councils in NSW
- Model Code of Meeting Practice for Local Councils in NSW (2018) – PDF
- Model Code of Meeting Practice for Local Councils in NSW (2018) – WORD
- Closure of Council Meetings to the Public (2013) – PDF
For further information, contact OLG’s Council Governance Team on (02) 4428 4100 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.