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Understanding Meetings

Standing Orders

City of Adelaide’s Standing Orders identify and record the procedures which the Council uses in its decision making process as the governing body of the Corporation of the City of Adelaide.

They also ensure compliance with a number of legislative requirements, such as those contained with the Local Government Act 1999, the City of Adelaide Act 1998 and the Local Government (Procedures at Meetings) Regulations 2013.

In February 2014, Council endorsed significant amendments to the Standing Orders it had adopted in September 2011.

These amendments took into account the introduction of the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2013, the associated Mandatory Code of Conduct for Council Members, and the Local Government (Procedures at Meetings) Regulations 2013, as well as updating a range of administrative practices.

» Download Standing Orders document updated November 2017

How do I communicate with Council in a meeting?

Communication with Council in a meeting can be achieved through addressing the Council or Committee as a Deputation, addressing the Council during the Public Forum or through the presentation of a Petition.

The Public Forum is an initiative of the City of Adelaide, enabling individuals to comment on matters that are not the subject of deliberation at the meeting of the Council, in addition to:

- the Legislative provisions for a member of the public to address a meeting of the Council or a Council Committee by way of a Deputation.

And the opportunity that each individual has in

  • providing comment or feedback to the Customer Centre in person;
  • providing comment or feedback by e-mail or via the internet;
  • providing comment or feedback in person, by e-mail or correspondence to the Lord Mayor and or Councillors.

With the exception of the ability to address a meeting as a Deputation or during the Public Forum, public participation in a meeting consists of observing proceedings from the public gallery section of a meeting room.

Public Forum

The Public Forum is held during the scheduled meeting of the City of Adelaide, generally held on a Tuesday of the month.

Members of the public are required to register an interest in speaking in the Public Forum.

All subjects presented at the public forum should be of community interest only.

The subjects should not involve the Council in any legal liability.

A maximum of 5 members of the public who have registered to speak will be heard by the Lord Mayor & Councillors, during the public meeting of the City of Adelaide.

The Public Forum Guidelines with Application Form sets out the requirements for members of the Public to register to address Council by way of a Public Forum.

A Registration Form will need to be lodged online, or in-person at the Customer Centre by 12.00 noon on the Monday prior to the scheduled meeting, or by fax (08 8203 7575).

Register your interest to speak in the Public Forum (online form)       

Download Public Forum Guidelines and Registration Form


Members of the Public may address a scheduled meeting of the Council, a Committee or the Adelaide Park Lands Authority on matters that are the subject of deliberation at the meeting or which the Council or the Adelaide Park Lands Authority has a direct interest or responsibility by way of a Deputation.

A person or persons wishing to appear as a deputation at a scheduled meeting must register online, or deliver (to the principal office of Council) a written request by 12.00 noon on the Monday prior to the scheduled meeting.

Register your interest to appear as a Deputation (online form)

Download Deputation Request Form 


In order to determine that a document presented is a petition, the following matters are assessed prior to the presentation of a petition to the Council:

  •  What is a Petition?

          A 'petition' is commonly defined as 'a formal document which seeks the taking of specified action by the person or body to whom it is addressed' or 'a written statement setting out facts upon which the petitioner bases a prayer for remedy or relief.

  • Does the Petition contain original signatures accompanied by an address?

        A petition being a document of a forma nature must contain original signatures or marks (not copies) and those signatures must be accompanied by an address.

  • Does each page of the Petition identify what the signature is for?

        Each signature must be on a true page of the petition which sets out the prayer for relief as part of that page - a sheet which contains signatures but not the prayer cannot be accepted as valid as there is no evidence as to what the signatories were attesting to; and

  • Language in the Petition?

        It is usual for the prayer to be written in temperate language and not to contain material that may objectively be regarded as defamatory in content.

A petition to Council must:

  • be legibly written or typed or printed; and
  • clearly set out the request or submission of the petitioners;
  • include the name and address of each person who signed or endorsed the petition; and
  • be addressed to Council and delivered to the principal office of Council.

If a petition is received the Chief Executive Officer must ensure the petition is placed on the agenda for the next ordinary meeting of Council.  At this time a report identifying the number of signatories and purpose of the petition will be presented.  The petition itself will be distributed to the Lord Mayor and Members of Council separately.  Members of the public may seek a copy of the full petition upon written request to the Chief Executive Officer.

Download Petition Form

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