Electors may petition the City of Stirling Council to take action on a matter, but certain conditions must be met to ensure authenticity. Any Councillor or the City’s CEO can present the petition at an Ordinary Council Meeting, and the business unit responsible will contact the petitioners.
What is a petition?
Petitions inform the City of Stirling Council, in a public way, of the views of the community, and serve as a means of placing community concerns before Council.
Any elector or group of electors may petition the Council to take some form of action over a particular issue. For example, petitions may ask the Council to change an existing policy, Local Law or decision, or to take action for a certain purpose or benefit of particular persons.
The subject of a petition however must be a matter on which the Council has the power to act. Care must be taken in the wording of petitions as the City requires certain information and content.
The City of Stirling’s Meeting Procedures Local Law sets out a number of requirements governing the format and presentation of petitions. These are designed to ensure the authenticity of petitions, and protect the petitioners and the Council.
These procedures do not impose any particular style of expression but certain other requirements must be met.
Before it is presented to the Council, a petition must:
• Be addressed to the Mayor, Councillor or CEO
• Be made by electors of the district
• State the request on each page of the petition
• Contain the names, addresses and signatures of the electors, and the date signed
• Contain a summary of the reasons for the request
• State the name and address of the person to be notified (usually the initiator)
• Be respectful and temperate in its language
• Be legible
• Be in English or accompanied by a translation certified to be correct (The person certifying the translation must place his or her name and address on the translation)
• Not contain any alterations
• Not have any letters or other documents attached to it.
It is important that those drawing up petitions familiarise themselves with these requirements before collecting signatures. This will avoid the possibility of the petition being ruled out-of-order and not being presented to Council.
Who can start or sign a petition?
A petition only needs to have 2 elector’s signatures to be accepted, but to be more representative of public feeling it should be signed by as many people as possible.
Although anyone can sign a petition, only City of Stirling electors will be recorded in the official signature count. An elector is a person is eligible to vote in local government and elections. Please refer to the Council elections page for information on how to become an elector.
All the signatures on a petition must be:
• On a page bearing the terms of the petition, or the action requested by the petition
• Not copied, pasted or transferred on to the petition, nor placed on a blank page on the reverse of a sheet containing the terms of the petition
• Made in the person’s own handwriting.
Using the Petition form provided to submit a petition will ensure that all the required information and signatures are properly recorded for to the Council.
How can I get the petition presented?
A petition can only be presented to Council at an Ordinary Council Meeting by either:
• The Mayor
• A Councillor (does not have to be from a particular ward)
• The Chief Executive Officer.
The petition is to be forwarded to the Chief Executive Officer or a Councillor prior to the commencement of the meeting at which they would like the petition presented.
To find out dates of upcoming meetings go to Council meeting dates.
Although a Councillor is not bound to present a petition, it is traditionally accepted that he or she will present it, irrespective of personal views. Presentation of a petition does not mean that the Councillor necessarily agrees or disagrees with its content.
What happens at the Council meeting?
One of the first items of business at a Council Meeting is to receive any petitions that have been presented.
The Chief Executive Officer or Councillor presenting the petition will read out a summary of the reasons for the petition and the number of signatures it contains. When the petition is received, no discussion on the matter will take place, however the petition will be referred to the responsible business unit for appropriate action.
What happens after a petition has been presented?
The petition will be referred to the business unit responsible for the matter, based on the subject of the petition.
An assigned staff member will inform the petition initiator on any action proposed in response to the petition. This may involve having to prepare a detailed report for Council consideration.
Further information regarding petitions can be directed to Corporate Governance through the Customer Contact Centre.