17-40 – Consultation on the draft Model Code of Meeting Practice for Local Councils in NSW

Category: Circular to CouncilsStatus: Active
Circular Details: 17-40 / 6 December 2017 / A573892Contact: Council Governance Team – 02 4428 4100
Previous Circular: 16-46Attachments: Nil
Who should read this: Mayors / Councillors / General Managers / Council governance staffAction required: Response to OLG
PDF Version:Council Circular 17-40 – PDF

What’s new or changing

  • Amendments made to the Local Government Act 1993 (the Act) in August last year by the Local Government Amendment (Governance and Planning) Act 2016 provide for a model code of meeting practice (Model Meeting Code) to be prescribed by regulation.
  • The Office of Local Government (OLG), in consultation with councils, has prepared a consultation draft of the proposed Model Meeting Code. Once this is finalised, it will replace the meeting rules currently prescribed in the Local Government (General) Regulation 2005 (the Regulation).
  • Once the Model Meeting Code is finalised, councils will be given a period of 6 months in which to adopt a code of meeting practice based on the Model Meeting Code.

What this will mean for your council

  • OLG is inviting submissions from councils and other stakeholders on the consultation draft of the Model Meeting Code.
  • The consultation draft of the Model Meeting Code is available on OLG’s website at
  • Submissions may be made by email to
  • Submissions should be labelled “Model Meeting Code Consultation” and marked to the attention of OLG’s Council Governance Team.
  • Submissions should be made by COB Friday 16 March 2018.

Key points

  • The Model Meeting Code has two elements:
    • It contains mandatory provisions (indicated in black font) that reflect the existing meetings provisions of the Act and adapt those currently contained in the Regulation. The existing meetings provisions of the Regulation have been updated and supplemented to reflect contemporary meetings practice by councils and to address ambiguities and areas of confusion in the existing provisions based on feedback from councils.
    • It contains non-mandatory provisions (indicated in red font) that cover areas of meetings practice that are common to most councils but where there may be a need for some variation in practice between councils based on local circumstances. The non-mandatory provisions will also operate to set a benchmark based on what OLG sees as being best practice for the relevant area of practice.
  • In making submissions on the draft Model Meeting Code, OLG would welcome feedback from councils on whether any of the proposed non-mandatory provisions should be mandated. If there is a sufficient body of support for these from councils, these may be made mandatory in the final version of the Model Meeting Code.

Where to go for further information

  • For further information, contact OLG’s Council Governance Team on (02) 4428 4100.

Penny Holloway
Acting Chief Executive