About Council meetings

What are Council meetings?

Our Councillors meet regularly to make decisions about policies, services and important issues that affect the Shoalhaven.

Council meetings are usually held twice a month on a Monday in the Council chambers at the Nowra Administration Building.

Meetings generally fall into three (3) categories:

  • Ordinary meetings
  • Extraordinary meetings
  • Committee or advisory group meetings

Ordinary meetings are scheduled each September for the coming year, while extraordinary meetings may be scheduled at short notice in response to changes in legislation or extraordinary circumstances affecting the Shoalhaven and its residents. Committee meetings are scheduled when needed.

You can watch Council meetings:

Meetings may also be recorded and broadcast by external media organisations, e.g. Radio 2UUU

Upcoming meetings are listed on our upcoming meetings page.

View upcoming meetings

What are committees?

Shoalhaven City Council has 21 committees that make decisions and give recommendations for their area of responsibility.

There are three (3) types of Council Committees:

  • Committees of Council are made up of Councillors
  • Advisory committees may include experts, professionals, government employees, community representatives, Council staff and Councillors
  • Management committees are delegated by Council to carry out particular functions e.g. manage a public hall or other property. They are volunteer-based committees

Council forms these committees and determines their functions, powers, membership and voting rights so they can gather expert advice on complex matters to form recommendations.

Committees will periodically put out requests for new members, through what is known as an 'expression of interest' or 'EOI'. These calls for new members will be advertised in newspapers and on Council's social media pages.

Joining a committee is a great way to play a part in helping Council to make informed decisions that make the Shoalhaven a great place to live and work in.

To learn more about each committee, view information on their agendas and minutes and see any current calls for members, go to the Council committee page.

View Council committees

Code of meeting practice

The code of meeting practice sets out the rules for meetings of the Council.

Council’s code of meeting practice reflects the provisions of the Model Code of Meeting Practice for Local Councils in NSW, which is made under section 360 of the Local Government Act 1993 and the Local Government (General) Regulation 2021.

The code applies to:

  • Council meetings
  • All committees or advisory groups comprising of Councillors, staff or community members (including boards) with the exception of the provisions relating to ‘rising to speak’ and ‘limitation on the number of times a member may speak’

Council’s code of conduct and procedures are to be read in conjunction with this code and apply in all respects to conduct at Council and committee meetings.

View code of meeting practice

Meeting agendas and minutes

Each meeting will have a list of items planned for discussion that helps attendees prepare for the meeting, this is called an 'agenda'. This document helps to guide Council through the items that need to be discussed.

During the meeting, a written record of who attended the meeting, what was discussed, any motions proposed or voted on and any decisions or outcomes of the meetings will be kept. This document becomes the 'minutes' of the meeting.

An agenda will be available before every meeting and the minutes will be available following the meeting.

If a meeting is going to be held at a location other than the Council chambers, it will be announced on the first page of the agenda.

View agendas and minutes

How do I attend a meeting in person?

Please note: Recordings of meeting livestreams are considered 'government information', and must be made available to the public as outlined in the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

By attending a meeting, you are consenting to the possibility that your image and statements may be recorded and made available to the public for later viewing.

Everyone is welcome to attend Council ordinary meetings and committee meetings.

You don't need to reserve a seat or notify us in advance, but please be aware that seats are limited for safety reasons.

Unless you have applied to make a deputation, attendees are expected to observe from the 'public gallery' and are asked not to interrupt the meeting.

Preparing to attend a meeting

If you are planning on coming to a Council meeting, there are important rules you will need to follow for your safety and the safety and wellbeing of others.

Chamber capacity

Fire safety regulations specify a limit (capacity) on how many people can be in the chamber at any given time, this limit is in place to ensure that people aren't put in an unsafe situation if a fire was to occur.

If the chamber is at capacity, no further physical access will be allowed, but we encourage you to attend the meeting online via the livestream, or view the archived recording at a time that suits you later.

Code of conduct/Conditions of entry

Interested persons are welcome and encouraged to attend our meetings. All of Council’s meetings are governed by rules designed to allow the safe, courteous and timely and efficient processing of business.

As a reminder, Council meetings are public gatherings. Any person making a remark or acting in a way which is offensive, defamatory or discriminatory should consider the potential legal consequences before doing so.

Doors will be open from 4:15pm. To ensure the safety of all attending, the meeting will not proceed unless the conditions of entry are adhered to and maintained throughout the meeting.

These are the standards you must follow when in the public gallery:

  • Any items which are deemed to potentially cause discomfort or a safety risk to the Mayor, Councillors, Council workers or other members of the public will not be permitted in the Chamber
  • All persons in the public gallery (the area set aside for the public) must occupy one of the seats provided. No standing is permitted for reasons of safety and maintaining clear paths to the exits during an emergency
  • The meeting room is permitted to hold a specific maximum number of people (as part of fire safety regulations). The gallery will be declared full once all seats are occupied, and no further access will be permitted until seats become available
  • Members of the public are invited to attend Council meetings as observers. You must not interrupt meeting procedures or engage in any disorderly conduct. If you want to speak at a meeting, please apply for a deputation prior to the day of the meeting
  • You may not address or approach the Councillors during the meeting
  • Mobile phones and other electronic devices must be switched off or set to silent during the meeting
  • You cannot film, photograph or record the meeting (even in part) without prior written permission from Council. Media representatives are excepted, however no audio recordings can be made. Media representatives must identify themselves to Council staff before filming or photographing in the Chamber

Please note: Under the Local Government Act, the meeting chairperson may exclude any member of the public from the gallery for disorderly conduct. This may include eviction by the police where necessary.

Closed meetings

Occasionally part of a meeting may be deemed confidential. Under the Local Government Act, all members of the gallery, including media, will be asked to leave the chamber.

There are specific reasons for this, for example to allow Council to consider:

  • Private details of individuals
  • Commercial information, or
  • To receive legal advice

We ask that you please respect the request to leave the chamber, particularly in order to respect the privacy of individuals or groups who do not consent to having private details livestreamed and recorded for the public to view.

Livestream consent

Recordings of meetings are 'government information' held by Council in accordance with the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.

By attending a meeting you consent to the possibility that your image and any statements made may be broadcast to the public.

Any personal and health information voluntarily disclosed by any person at Council meetings may be livestreamed or broadcast to the public, recorded and held by Council and made available to the public for later viewing.

Council accepts no responsibility for defamatory, discriminatory or offensive statements made by any person which may be broadcast or held by Council.

Parts of the meeting that have been closed to the public are not recorded in the livestream.

How do I apply to speak on an agenda item at a meeting?

When a person or a representative of a group of people appears personally to address a Council meeting on a specific matter, this is called a 'deputation'. Deputations will usually be heard at the beginning of the meeting after the formalities are completed.

Deputations are only allowed in relation to items listed on the agenda for that meeting, and each speaker is allocated five (5) minutes to speak.

For more information on the rules around deputations, please view the deputation FAQs.

If you would like to apply to speak on an item that will be covered at a meeting, please submit a deputation request through our online form.

Please note: This request form must be submitted no later than 9:30AM on the day of the meeting.

Submit a deputation request

What if I missed a meeting?

Recordings of live streams of meetings are generally made available when they are uploaded to the online archive the next business day.

View meeting archive

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