What is an Annual General Meeting of Electors?
In accordance with Section 5.27 of the Local Government Act 1995 an Annual General Meeting of Electors of a district is to be held once every financial year. A general meeting is to be held on a day selected by the local government but within 56 days of accepting the annual report for the previous financial year (Section 5.27). The matters to be discussed at the general electors’ meetings are to be those prescribed under the Act and associated Regulations.
Why, when and where
It is a requirement of local government to prepare an annual report (Section 5.53), accept the report (Section 5.54), advertise its availability (Section 5.55) and hold an Annual General Meeting of Electors (AGM) within 56 days of accepting the annual report (Section 5.27). The meetings are held once a year at one of the Council Chambers of the Shire of Harvey or another suitable location.
The annual report is to be accepted (by absolute majority), by the local government no later than 31 December after that financial year. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is then responsible for giving local public notice of the availability of the annual report as soon as practicable after the report has been accepted (Section 5.55) and must publish the report on the local government’s official website within 14 days after acceptance (Section 5.55A).
Attendance and participation in the meeting
The Annual General Meeting of Electors is a less formal meeting than a Council meeting. On arrival, those attending and participating in the meeting will be requested to record their names and addresses and to confirm their status as an elector as they enter to confirm they are an eligible elector for minute taking purposes.
Any member of the public is welcome to attend the meeting but will only be permitted to participate as an elector if they have confirmed that they are eligible to vote in the Shire of Harvey local government elections.
Who is an Elector?
In accordance with Section 1.4 of the Local Government Act 1995 an elector is defined as:“elector, in relation to a district or ward, means a person who is eligible to be enrolled to vote at elections for the district or ward;” and as depicted in section 5.26 of the Act also includes ratepayers.
Who presides at the AGM of Electors?
The Shire President is to preside at the electors' meeting, if not available the Shire Deputy President may preside according to Section 5.30.
Matters of Discussion
In line with Section 5.27(3) of the Local Government Act 1995 and regulation 15 of the Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996, the matters to be discussed at a general electors’ meeting are, firstly, the contents of the annual report for the previous financial year and then any other general business.
Only electors are entitled to move motions and vote at the meeting. The mover is allowed to speak for a maximum of five minutes, then the seconder can speak for a maximum of five minutes. Both the mover and seconder of a motion must state their name and address prior to moving or seconding a motion. Voting will only take place after a motion that has been moved and seconded has been provided in writing to the administration in full. As stipulated in Regulation 17 of the Local Government (Administration) Regulations 1996 voting provisions at an electors' meeting are as follows:
- Each elector at the meeting is entitled to one vote on each matter to be decided, but does not have to vote;
- All decisions are to be made by a Simple Majority vote; and
- Voting is to be conducted by a show of hands, ensuring that no voter’s vote is secret.
Decisions made at an Electors AGM
In accordance with Section 5.33 of the Local Government Act 1995 all decisions made at the electors’ meeting are to be considered at the next Ordinary Council Meeting or if not practicable
- At the first Ordinary Council Meeting after that meeting; or
- At a Special Meeting called for that purpose.
If at a meeting of the Council a local government makes a decision in response to a decision made at an electors’ meeting, the reasons for the decision is to be recorded in the minutes of the Council meeting.
Asking questions at an Annual General Meeting
Members of the public are encouraged to use this opportunity to ask questions about any issue relating to the business of the Shire. Complex questions requiring research should be submitted at least seven days prior to the meeting to allow sufficient time to prepare a response. However, you can also submit your completed Public Question Time Form, at the meeting and ask your question at the meeting.
Minute taking and recording
The meeting will be recorded and livestreamed as per our Recording and Livestreaming Policy 1.2.5 which can be viewed below.
Rules of conduct
All elected members and officers must abide by the Shire of Harvey’s Code of Conduct. All members of the public attending the electors meeting are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is respectful and fair before, during and after the meeting.