Council Meeting Procedures Local Law

Table of Contents

Part 1 Preliminary


Part 2 Election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor


Part 3 Procedure at Meetings

Procedural motions table


Part 4 Use of the Common Seal


Part 5 Offences


Part 6 Special Committees



Part 1 Preliminary

1.1 Title

This Local Law is the Greater Geelong City Council Meeting Procedures Local Law 2017.


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1.2 Objectives of this Local Law

The objectives of this Local Law are to:

1.2.1 implement changes to the City of Greater Geelong Act (Vic) 1993 (as amended);
1.2.2 regulate and control the use of the Common Seal of Council;
1.2.3 regulate proceedings for the election of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor;
1.2.4 facilitate the orderly conduct of, and regulate proceedings at, meetings of Council and Special Committees at the Greater Geelong City Council;
1.2.5 facilitate the good government of the Greater Geelong City Council and ensure that the Council’s decisions are made in the best interests of the community;
1.2.6 promote and encourage community participation in the good government of the City;
1.2.7 repeal the Greater Geelong City Council Meeting Procedure Local Law 2013.


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1.3 Power to make this Local Law

1.3.1 This Local Law is made in accordance with sections 91(1) and 111(1) of the Local Government Act (Vic) 1989, and the City of Greater Geelong Act (Vic) 1993 (as amended).
1.3.2 The drafting of this Local Law involved due consideration of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.


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1.4 Operational Date of this Local Law

This Local Law operates from the day following the day on which notice of the making of this Local Law is published in the Victorian Government Gazette, at which time the Greater Geelong City Council Meeting Procedure Local Law 2013 will be repealed and will cease to have force and effect.


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1.5 Date this Local Law ceases operation

Unless this Local Law is repealed sooner, its operation will cease on the 10th anniversary of its commencement.


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1.6 Scope of this Local Law

This Local Law shall apply to and have operation throughout the whole of the Municipal District of the Greater Geelong City Council.


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1.7 Definition of the words used in this Local Law

Absolute Majority means a number of Votes greater than one-half of the total number of Votes cast, and if necessary, includes the Vote by a ballot.
Act means the Local Government Act 1989, as amended from time to time.
Amendment means a proposed alteration to improve the terms of a Motion, without being contradictory.
Agenda means the notice of a Meeting setting out the business to be transacted at the Meeting.
Authorised Officer means a member of Council staff who is authorised by Council to carry out specific functions under this Local Law.
Chairperson means the chair of a Meeting and includes acting, temporary, or substitute chairperson, and includes the chair referred to in s10(6) of the COGG Act.
Chief Executive Officer means the Chief Executive Officer appointed by the Council from time to time, or any person acting as Chief Executive Officer under delegated authority.
City means the City of Greater Geelong.
Clause means a clause of this Local Law.
COGG Act means the City of Greater Geelong Act 1993 (as amended by the City of Greater Geelong Amendment Act 2017).
Common Seal means the Common Seal of the Council.
Council means the Greater Geelong City Council.
Councillor means a person who holds the office of member of Council.
Council Meeting means an Ordinary Meeting or a Special Meeting of the Council.
Deliver: means to hand over or mail to a recipient and includes transmission by facsimile, electronic mail or publication on the Geelong Australia Website.
Deputy Mayor has the same meaning given to that term in the COGG Act, and includes any person appointed to act as Deputy Mayor.
Division means the process set out in Clause 3.33.
Direct or Indirect Interest means either a direct interest or an indirect interest as referred to in Division 1A of Part 4 of the Act.
Geelong Australia Website means the Council website with a uniform resource locator of www.geelongaustralia.com.au or such other website which replaces it.

 

Majority in relation to Votes or Members means the number of Votes or Members constituting more than half of the total number.
Mayor has the same meaning given to that term in the Act, and includes any person appointed to act as Mayor.
Meeting means an Ordinary Meeting or a Special Meeting of the Council, and a meeting of a Special Committee.
Member means a Councillor or member of a Special Committee.
Member of Council Staff has the same meaning given to that term in section 3 of the Act, namely:
  1. a natural person who is employed by the Chief Executive Officer (other than an independent Contractor under a contract of service or a volunteer) to enable: 
    1. The functions f the Council under the Act or any other Act to be carried out;
    2. The Chief Executive Officer to carry out his or her functions;
  2. The Chief Executive Officer
Minutes means a record of the proceedings of a Meeting as referred to in Clause 3.11.
Motion means a proposed Resolution before it has been adopted (passed or carried) at a Meeting.
Municipal District means the area from time to time comprising the municipal district of the City.
Notice of Motion means the written notice of a Councillor or a Member to move a Motion at a Meeting as referred to in Clause 3.38.
Offence means an offence against this Local Law.
Ordinary Meeting means any meeting of Council which is not a Special Meeting;
Part means a Part of this Local Law.
Penalty Units means penalty units as prescribed in section 110 of the Sentencing Act 1991.
Point of Order has the meaning referred to in Clause 3.34.
Procedural Motion means a Motion dealing with the conduct of the Meeting as referred in in clause 3.36.
Public Question Time means the policy adopted by the Council from time to time
Policy regulating the circumstances in which and how questions can be raised by the public at Meetings.
Quorum means the minimum number of Members required to be present at a Meeting.
Resolution means a formal determination by a Meeting of Council or Special Committee.
Special Committee means a Committee established by the Council pursuant to section 86 of the Act.
Special Meeting means a Special Meeting of the Council convened and held in accordance with section 84 of the Act.
Vote means expression of opinion by show of hands or other means. 

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Part 2 Election of Deputy Mayor

2.1 Purpose

To regulate the procedure for the election of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor in accordance with the COGG Act.


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2.2 Election of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor

2.2.1 The Chief Executive Officer must open the Meeting at which the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are to be elected, and preside until a temporary Chairperson is elected.
2.2.2 The Council must appoint one of the Councillors to chair each Meeting of the Council until the Mayor is elected. The Chairperson will be responsible for:
2.2.2.1 the receipt of nominations for the election of Mayor; and
2.2.2.2 the election of Mayor.
2.2.3 The Mayor will be elected in accordance with section 10 of the COGG Act.
2.2.4 The Deputy Mayor will be elected in accordance with section 11C of the COGG Act.
2.2.5 If the Mayor is absent, incapable of acting or refuses to act, the Council may by Resolution appoint the Deputy Mayor to act as the Mayor during this time.

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2.3 Procedure

2.3.1 The election of the Mayor shall be by Vote.
2.3.2 The Councillor who receives the Majority of Votes cast must be declared the elected Mayor.
2.3.3 The Chief Executive Officer shall be responsible for the counting of Votes.
2.3.4 For the purpose of Clause 2.3.1, the following will apply:
  2.3.4.1 nominations must be moved and seconded;
  2.3.4.2 a Councillor may decline his or her nomination as a mayoral candidate;
  2.3.4.3 where only one nomination is received, that nomination must still go to the Vote;
  2.3.4.4 where two nominations are received, the Councillor with an Absolute Majority of Votes cast must be declared the elected Mayor. Where there is an equal number of Votes, the successful candidate shall be determined by ballot conducted by the Chairperson in the presence of the Meeting. In drawing the ballot, the candidate whose name is first drawn is deemed to be elected as the Mayor;
  2.3.4.5 where there are more than two nominations received, the Councillor who receives an Absolute Majority at the first round of Votes cast must be declared elected as the Mayor. If no candidate receives an Absolute Majority of Votes, the candidate with the least number of Votes must be eliminated as a candidate and each Councillor must then Vote for one of the remaining candidates. This procedure must be repeated until a candidate receives an Absolute Majority of Votes and that candidate shall be declared elected as the Mayor. If the final two candidates receive an equal number of Votes, the successful candidate shall be determined by ballot conducted by the Chairperson in the presence of the Meeting. In drawing the ballot, the candidate whose name is first drawn is deemed to be elected as the Mayor;
  2.3.4.6 if for the purpose of eliminating the candidate with the least number of Votes, two or more candidates have the same least number of Votes, the candidate to be eliminated shall be determined by a Vote on which of the candidates with the least Votes should be eliminated. If there is an equality of Votes with respect to the candidate to be eliminated, the candidate to be eliminated shall then be determined by ballot conducted by the Chairperson in the presence of the Meeting.
2.3.5 For the purposes of the election of the Deputy Mayor, the provisions of this Part for the election of the Mayor will apply to the election of the Deputy Mayor, save for any reference to the Chairperson being substituted by a reference to the Mayor.


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Part 3 Procedure at Council Meetings

3.1 Purpose

To regulate the conduct of all Meetings as required by section 91(1) of the Act.


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3.2 Scope

This Local Law applies to all Meetings.


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3.3 Notice

3.3.1

In accordance with section 89(4) of the Act, Council must, at least 7 days before the holding of:

3.3.1.1 an Ordinary Meeting; or
3.3.1.2 a Special Meeting (other than a Special Meeting called in accordance with section 84(1)); or
3.3.1.3 a Meeting of a Special Committee comprised solely of Councillors;
give public notice of the Meeting, including the time, date and location of the Meeting.
3.3.2 A notice of an Ordinary meeting, incorporating or accompanied by an Agenda, must be Delivered to every Councillor at least 72 hours before the Ordinary Meeting.
3.3.3 A notice of a Special Meeting or a Special Committee Meeting must be Delivered to every Councillor at least 48 hours before the Special Meeting. A period less than 48 hours may, however, be justified if exceptional circumstances exist.

Explanatory Note: Pursuant to section 89(4) of the Act, the Council must at least seven (7) days before the holding of an Ordinary Meeting, a Special Meeting and a meeting of a Special Committee comprised solely of Councillors, give public notice of the meeting. If public notice cannot be given 7 days prior to the meeting, the Council must give such public notice as is practicable and specify the urgent or extraordinary circumstances which prevented the Council from giving at least seven days notice. For Special Committees that are not comprised solely of Councillors, the Chairperson must provide reasonable notice to the public of Meetings of the Special Committee. Pursuant to section 82A(2)(a) of the Act, Council must ensure that public notice of any meetings is also published on the Geelong Australia Website .


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3.4 Quorum

A Quorum is established when a majority of the Councillors/Members are present at an Ordinary, Special Council or Special Committee Meeting.

3.4.1 A Quorum is established when at least a Majority of the Members are present at a Meeting.
3.4.2 If after 30 minutes from the scheduled starting time of any Meeting, a Quorum cannot be obtained:
3.4.2.1 those Members present; or
3.4.2.2 if there are no Members present, the Chief Executive Officer; or,
3.4.2.3 in the absence of the Chief Executive Officer, an Authorised Officer,
must adjourn the Meeting for a period within four (4) weeks from the date of the Meeting.
3.4.3 If during any Meeting or any adjournment of the Meeting, a Quorum cannot be maintained:
3.4.3.1 those Councillors present; or
3.4.3.2 if there are no Councillors present, the Chief Executive Officer; or,
3.4.3.3 in the absence of the Chief Executive Officer, an Authorised Officer,
must adjourn the Meeting for a period not exceeding seven (7) days from the date of the Meeting.
3.4.4 If a Quorum cannot be achieved or maintained due to the disclosure of conflicts of interest of Members, the Chief Executive Officer, or, in his or her absence, an Authorised Officer, must adjourn the Meeting for a length of time sufficient to enable dispensation for the affected Members to be obtained from the Minister administering the Act.
3.4.5 The Chief Executive Officer, or in his or her absence, an Authorised Officer, must provide written notice of an adjournment under this clause, however where this is not practicable because time does not permit that to occur, then, provided every reasonable attempt is made to contact every Member, notice by telephone, facsimile, email, in person or by some other means is sufficient.

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3.5 Adjourned meetings

3.5.1 Council may, by Resolution, adjourn any Meeting to a later time on the same day, or for a period not exceeding seven (7) days.
3.5.2 The Chief Executive Officer, or an Authorised Officer, must give notice to each Member of the date, time and place to which the Meeting stands adjourned and of the business remaining to be considered.

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3.6 Chairperson

3.6.1 The Mayor must preside at all Meetings at which he or she is present, in the role of Chairperson.
3.6.2 In the absence of the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor must preside at any Meeting at which he or she is present, in the role of Chairperson.
3.6.3 In the event that both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor are absent, Council must elect a Chairperson to preside at that Meeting.

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3.7 Duties and responsibilities of the Chairperson

The duties and responsibilities of the Chairperson are:

3.7.1 to formally declare a Meeting open, after ascertaining that a Quorum is present, and to welcome guest speakers and other visitors;
3.7.2 to preside over and control the Meeting, and to conduct it impartially and according to the rules to ensure the smooth passage of business;
3.7.3 to sign Minutes of Meetings as correct when they have been confirmed;
3.7.4 to present any reports for which he or she is responsible;
3.7.5 to ensure that debates are conducted in the correct manner;
3.7.6 to declare the results of all Votes;
3.7.7 to give rulings on Points of Order and other questions of procedure;
3.7.8 to preserve order, and if necessary, “name” offending Members;
3.7.9 to adjourn (when so resolved) or formally declare the Meeting closed when all business has been concluded.

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3.8 Order and content of business

3.8.1 The order and content of business of any Meeting will be determined by the Chief Executive Officer in order to facilitate and maintain open, efficient and effective processes of government.
3.8.2 Once an Agenda has been sent to Councillors, the order of business for that Meeting may be altered with the consent of a Majority of the Members of that Meeting.

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3.9 Member leave of absence and absence from meeting

3.9.1 Any Councillor seeking leave of absence from Council duties must do so in writing addressed to the Chief Executive Officer. Applications for leave shall be listed for consideration at the next Ordinary Meeting of Council and the Council must not unreasonably refuse to grant the request for leave of absence.
3.9.2 Where a leave of absence has been granted to a Councillor, the Chief Executive Officer must record the leave of absence in the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held during the period of the leave of absence.
3.9.3 If Member intends to be absent from a Meeting, the Member must give the Chairperson of that Meeting notice of apology prior to the Meeting.

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3.10 Recording of meetings

With the exception of a Member of Council Staff authorised by the Chief Executive Officer, no person is permitted to video or audio record any Meetings without specific approval by Resolution at the Meeting.


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3.11 Record of proceedings

The Chief Executive Officer or a member of Council staff authorised by the Chief Executive Officer shall record in the Minutes of each Meeting:

3.11.1 the place, date and time of each Meeting;
3.11.2 the names of all Members present at the Meeting;
3.11.3 the names of all Members for whom apologies were received, or for whom leave of absence was granted;
3.11.4 arrivals and departures, including temporary departures, of Members during the course of the Meeting;
3.11.5 all declarations of Direct and Indirect Interests by Members in Agenda items;
3.11.6 each Motion and Amendment moved, including Motions and Amendments withdrawn by consent of the Council, or which lapse for want of a seconder;
3.11.7 each Motion put to the Vote;
3.11.8 the Vote cast by each Member on each Division called; and
3.11.9 the failure to meet a Quorum.

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3.12 Confirmation of minutes

At every Meeting the Minutes of the preceding Meeting must be dealt with as follows:

3.12.1 a copy of the Minutes must be Delivered to each Member no later than 72 hours before the next Meeting;
3.12.2 if no Member indicates opposition, the Minutes must be declared to be confirmed;
3.12.3 subject to Clause 3.13, if a Member indicates opposition to the Minutes:
3.12.3.1 he or she must specify the item(s) to which he or she objects;
3.12.3.2 the objected item(s) must be considered separately and in the order in which they appear in the Minutes;
3.12.3.3 the Member objecting must move accordingly without speaking to the Motion;
3.12.3.4 the Motion must be seconded;
3.12.3.5 the Chairperson must ask: "Is the Motion opposed?"
3.12.3.6 if no Member indicates opposition, the Chairperson must declare the Motion carried without discussion and ask the second question described in Clause 3.12.3.10;
3.12.3.7 if a Member indicates opposition, the Chairperson must call on the mover to address the Meeting;
3.12.3.8 after the mover has addressed the Meeting, the seconder may address the Meeting;
3.12.3.9 after the seconder has addressed the Meeting (or after the mover has addressed the Meeting if the seconder does not), the Chairperson must invite debate by calling on any Member who wishes to speak to the Motion, providing an opportunity to alternate between those wishing to speak against the Motion and those wishing to speak for the Motion;
3.12.3.10 if, after the mover has addressed the Meeting, the Chairperson invites debate and no Member speaks to the Motion, the Chairperson must put the Motion and, after all objections have been dealt with, ultimately ask:
"That the Minutes be confirmed" or
"That the Minutes, as amended, be confirmed" or
and he or she must then put the question to the Vote.
3.12.3.11 a Resolution of Council must confirm the Minutes and the Minutes must, if practicable, be signed by the Chairperson of the Meeting at which they have been confirmed.

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3.13 No debate on confirmation of minutes

No discussion or debate on the confirmation of Minutes is permitted except when the accuracy of the Minutes as a record of the Meeting to which they relate is questioned.


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3.14 Publication of minutes

Council will endeavour to provide the Minutes of its Meetings on the Geelong Australia Website within three (3) business days of the Meeting.


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3.15 Declaration of direct and indirect interests

3.15.1 If a Member has a Direct or Indirect Interest in relation to an Agenda item, that interest must be declared at the time specified in the Agenda. The Member must leave the room until the matter is concluded.
3.15.2 Nothing in this section takes away from a Councillor’s duty under the Act to disclose the existence, nature and class of any conflict of interest that Councillor has in an item of business immediately before the consideration or discussion of that item of business.

Explanatory Note: Part 4 of the Act deals with conduct and interests of Councillors.


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3.16 Public question and submission time

Questions and submissions may be submitted by the public at any Meeting, and responded to or answered by Council, in accordance with Council’s Public Question Time Policy.


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3.17 Petitions

3.17.1 A petition or a joint letter:
3.17.1.1 must not be in pencil;
3.17.1.2 may be in any other legible and permanent written form;
3.17.1.3 must not be defamatory, indecent, abusive or objectionable in language or substance; and
3.17.1.4 must for the purpose of a response, contain the name and address of the person or organisation co-ordinating the petition; and
3.17.1.5 shall not relate to a matter outside Council’s powers and functions.
3.17.2 Every page of a petition or joint letter shall contain the whole of the petition or request.
3.17.3 Any signature appearing on a page which does not contain the whole of the petition or request shall not be considered by the Council.
3.17.4 Every page of a petition or joint letter shall be a single piece of paper and shall not be pasted, stapled, pinned or otherwise affixed to any other piece of paper.
3.17.5 The purpose of any petition shall be recorded in the Minutes and shall be the subject of a written response.
3.17.6 The Council may pass a Resolution:
  3.17.6.1 that a written report be prepared on the contents of the petition or joint letter for presentation to a Meeting or appropriate Special Committee, or that the petition be referred to the Chief Executive Officer for action and response; and
  3.17.6.2 that the petition be referred for consideration in conjunction with an item on the Agenda.

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3.18 Moving of motions or amendments

3.18.1 Motions and Amendments must be:
  3.18.1.1 within the powers and functions of the Council;
  3.18.1.2 related to an item of business on the Agenda or to be considered at the Meeting; and
  3.18.1.3 clear, unambiguous and not defamatory or objectionable in content or nature.
3.18.2 The Chairperson must refuse to accept a Motion or Amendment which conflicts with this Clause 3.18.
  3.18.3 Council must not consider similar Agenda items en bloc. Each Agenda item must be considered individually and must have a mover and a seconder.

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3.19 Introducing a motion or amendment

3.19.1 The procedure for moving any Motion or Amendments to Motions at a Meeting is as follows:
  3.19.1.1 the mover must state the subject and nature of the Motion or Amendment to a Motion and not speak to it;
  3.19.1.2 the Motion or Amendment must be seconded by a Member other than the mover. If there is no seconder for a Motion or Amendment, the Chairperson must declare the Motion or Amendment to have lapsed;
  3.19.1.3 an Amendment may be moved or seconded by any Member, except the mover or seconder of the original Motion;
  3.19.1.4 if the Motion or Amendment is moved and seconded the Chairperson must ask whether the Motion is opposed and/or whether any Member wishes to speak to the Motion;
  3.19.1.5 if no Member indicates opposition or a desire to speak to the Motion, the Chairperson may declare the Motion or Amendment carried without discussion;
  3.19.1.6 if a Member indicates opposition or a desire to speak to the Motion or Amendment, then the Chairperson must call on the mover to address the Meeting;
  3.19.1.7 the Chairperson must call upon the seconder of a Motion to speak to the Motion after the mover has spoken. The seconder of a Motion may reserve their right to respond;
  3.19.1.8 the Chairperson must call upon any other Member who may wish to speak to the Motion, after the mover and seconder of the Motion have spoken to the Motion;
  3.19.1.9 if, after the mover has addressed the Meeting, the Chairperson has invited other Members to speak to the Motion or Amendment and no Member speaks to the Motion or Amendment, the Chairperson must put the Motion or Amendment to the Vote.

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3.20 Right of reply and debate of motion or amendment

3.20.1 If there has been any opposition to a Motion, the mover of a Motion has the right of reply to these issues.
3.20.2 The mover of an Amendment has no right to speak in reply.
3.20.3 Subject to any Member exercising his or her right to ask any question concerning or arising out of a Motion, the Chairperson must put the Motion to the Vote immediately after the mover of the Motion has spoken in reply.
3.20.4 Any one Member cannot move more than two (2) Amendments in succession.
3.20.5 Any Member can debate an Amendment irrespective of whether the Member has spoken or proposes to speak to the Original Motion.
3.20.6 Debate on an Amendment must be confined to the terms of the Amendment.

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3.21 Moving an amendment

3.21.1 Subject to this clause, a Motion which has been moved and seconded may be amended by leaving out or adding words. Any added words must be relevant to the subject of the Motion.
3.21.2 A Motion to confirm a previous Resolution of Council cannot be amended.
3.21.3 An Amendment must not be the negative of, or substantially contrary to, the Motion.

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3.22 How many amendments may be proposed

3.22.1 Any number of Amendments may be proposed to a Motion but only one (1) Amendment may be accepted by the Chairperson at any one (1) time.
3.22.2 No second or subsequent Amendment, whether to the Motion or an Amendment of it, may be taken into consideration until the previous Amendment has been dealt with.

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3.23 An amendment once carried

3.23.1 If the Amendment is carried, the amended Motion then becomes the substantive Motion before the Meeting and can be further amended.
3.23.2 The mover of the original Motion retains the right of reply to the substantive Motion.

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3.24 Foreshadowing motions

3.24.1 At any time during debate a Member may foreshadow a Motion to inform the Meeting of his or her intention to move a Motion at a later stage in the Meeting. This does not extend to any special right to the foreshadowed Motion.
3.24.2 A Motion foreshadowed may be prefaced with a statement that in the event of a particular Motion before the Chairperson being resolved in a certain way, a Member intends to move an alternative or additional Motion.
3.24.3 The Chief Executive Officer or a Member of Council Staff authorised to take the Meeting Minutes is not expected to record foreshadowed Motions in the Minutes until the foreshadowed Motion is formally moved.
3.24.4 A foreshadowed Motion has no procedural standing and is merely a means of assisting the flow of a Meeting.

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3.25 Withdrawal of motions

3.25.1 Subject to this Clause, only with the leave of the Chairperson, and the consent of the mover and seconder, can a Motion or Amendment to a Motion be withdrawn.
3.25.2 If the majority of Members objects to the withdrawal of the Motion, it may not be withdrawn.

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3.26 Priority of address and right to speak to motion

3.26.1 In the case of competition for the right to speak, the Chairperson must decide the order in which the Members concerned will be heard.
3.26.2 A Member may speak once on a Motion and once on an Amendment, except for the mover of a Motion who has the right to speak in reply to any opposition to the Motion.

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3.27 Motions in writing

3.27.1 The Chairperson may require that a complex or detailed Motion be in writing.
3.27.2 The Chairperson may adjourn the Meeting while the Motion is being written or may defer the matter in the order of business, until the Motion has been written.

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3.28 Repeating a motion

The Chairperson may request the person taking the Minutes of the Meeting to read the Motion or Amendment to the Meeting before the Vote is taken.


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3.29 Debate of the motion

3.29.1 Debate must always be relevant to the Motion before the Chairperson, and, if not, the Chairperson must request the speaker to confine the debate to the Motion.
3.29.2 If the speaker continues to debate irrelevant matters after being requested to confine debate the Chairperson may direct the speaker to be seated and not to speak further in respect of the Motion before the Chairperson.
3.29.3 A speaker to whom a direction has been given under this Clause must comply with that direction.
3.29.4 Members may remain seated to address the Chairperson, to move or second a Motion or Amendment, or to take part in a debate.
3.29.5 The Member acknowledged by the Chairperson is to speak and must not be interrupted unless:
  3.29.5.1 he or she is called to order; or
  3.29.5.2 his or her speaking time has expired; or
  3.29.5.3 a Point of Order is raised.
3.29.6 Members must address each other by their official titles during debate and throughout a Meeting.

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3.30 Lost motions

If a Motion is lost without a subsequent Motion then being carried it will not be automatically determined that the outcome is contrary to the lost Motion. Members should instead move a Motion detailing further requirements or actions after any Motion which is lost.


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3.31 Time limits

3.31.1 A Meeting must start within 30 minutes of the advertised start time.
3.31.2 A Meeting may not continue after 10.00 pm unless a Majority of Members present Vote in favour of its continuance. In the absence of such continuance, a Meeting must stand adjourned to a time, date and place announced by the Chairperson immediately before the standing Meeting is adjourned.
3.31.3 A Member may speak for no longer than the time specified below, unless the Chairperson grants an extension:
3.31.3.1 The mover of a Motion 5 minutes
3.31.3.2 Any other speaker 3 minutes
3.31.3.3 The mover of a Motion exercising the right of reply 2 minutes

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3.32 Voting

3.32.1 To determine a Motion before a Meeting, the Chairperson must first call for those in favour of the Motion, then those opposed to the Motion. The Chairperson must declare the result of the Vote.
3.32.2 Members must Vote by show of hands when the Chairperson puts a Motion to the Vote.
3.32.3 All Members present in the meeting room when a Vote is taken must Vote once only.
3.32.4 Subject to the Act, the Chairperson must use a casting/second Vote if the number of Votes in favour of a Motion is half the number of Members present.
3.32.5 The Chairperson may direct that a Vote be recounted to be satisfied of the result.
3.32.6 The Chief Executive Officer must direct that the Minutes of the Meeting record the name of any Member who requests that his or her Vote be recorded against the Motion or Amendment to a Motion.
3.32.7 Voting must take place in silence.

Explanatory Note: Section 90(2) of the Act sets out when the Chairperson may and may not use their casting vote.


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3.33 Division

3.33.1 Immediately after any Motion is put to a Meeting and before the next item of business has commenced, a Member may call for a Division.
3.33.2 The Chairperson must first call upon Members to Vote in favour of the Motion and then call upon Members to Vote against the Motion if a Member has requested a Division.
3.33.3 Members must Vote by show of hands and the Chairperson must declare the result of the Division.
3.33.4 The Chief Executive Officer must direct that the Minutes record the names of the Members who voted in favour of the Motion, the names of the Members who Voted against the Motion, and the result of the Division.

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3.34 Points of order

3.34.1 A Point of Order is taken when a Member officially draws the attention of the Chairperson to an alleged irregularity in the Meeting proceedings or procedures.
3.34.2 A Member may make a Point of Order on the grounds that a matter is:
3.34.2.1 contrary to this Local Law;
3.34.2.2 defamatory;
3.34.2.3 irrelevant;
3.34.2.4 offensive;
3.34.2.5 constitutes a tedious repetition of something already said;
3.34.2.6 prejudicial to any other person or the Council;
3.34.2.7 a matter that should be considered in a session of a Meeting closed to the public, in accordance with the Act;
3.34.2.8 outside the Council’s functions or power; or
3.34.2.9 improper.
3.34.3 The Chairperson must decide on all Points of Order.

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3.35 Disagreement with Chairperson's ruling

3.35.1 A Member may move that the Meeting disagree with the Chairperson’s ruling on a Point of Order, by moving:
“That the Chairperson’s ruling be dissented from”
3.35.2 When a Motion in accordance with this clause is moved and seconded, the Chairperson must leave the chair and a temporary Chairperson elected by the meeting must take his or her place.
3.35.3 The temporary Chairperson must invite the mover to state the reasons for his or her dissent and the Chairperson may then reply.
3.35.4 The temporary Chairperson must put the Motion in the following form:
“That the Chairperson’s ruling be dissented from”
3.35.5 If the Vote is in the negative, the Chairperson resumes the chair and the Meeting proceeds.
3.35.6 If the Vote is in the affirmative, the Chairperson must then resume the chair, reverse his or her previous ruling and proceed.
3.35.7 The defeat of the Chairperson’s ruling is in no way a Motion of censure or no-confidence, and must not be so regarded by the Meeting.

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3.36 Procedural motions

3.36.1 Unless otherwise prohibited, a Procedural Motion may be moved at any time, and once seconded, must be dealt with immediately by the Chairperson.
3.36.2 A Procedural Motion requires a seconder.
3.36.3 Notwithstanding any other provision in this Local Law, Procedural motions must be dealt with in accordance with the following table:

Procedural Motions Table

Procedural Motion Form Mover and seconder When Motion prohibited Effect if carried Effect if lost Debate permitted on Motion
1. Adjournment of debate to later hour and/or date That this matter be adjourned to *am/pm and/or *date Any Member who has not moved or seconded the substantive Motion or otherwise spoken to the substantive Motion
  1. During the election of a Chairperson;
  2. When another Member is speaking
Motion and Amendment is postponed to the stated time and/or date Debate continues unaffected Yes
2. Adjournment of debate indefinitely That this matter be adjourned until further notice Any Member who has not moved or seconded the substantive Motion or otherwise spoken to the substantive Motion
  1. During the election of a Chairperson;
  2. When another Member is speaking;
  3. When the matter is where a call of the Council has been made for that Meeting in accordance with Section 85 of the Act; or
  4. When the Motion would have the effect of causing Council to be in breach of a legislative requirement
Motion and any Amendment postponed but may be resumed at any later Meeting if on the Agenda Debate continues unaffected Yes
3. The closure That the Motion be now put Any Member who has not moved or seconded the substantive Motion or otherwise spoken to the substantive Motion During nominations for Chairperson Motion or Amendment in respect of which the closure is carried is put to the Vote immediately without debate
subject to any Member exercising his or her right to ask any
question concerning or arising out of the Motion
Debate continues unaffected No
4. Laying question on the table That the question lie on the table Any Member who has not moved or seconded the substantive Motion or otherwise spoken to the substantive Motion
  1. During the election of a Chairperson;
  2. During a Meeting where a Call of the Council has been made for that Meeting in accordance with section 85 of the Act; or
  3. When the Motion would have the effect of causing Council to be in breach of a legislative requirement
Motion and Amendment is not further discussed or voted on until:
  1. Council resolves to take the question from the table at the same Meeting; or
  2. The matter is placed on a subsequent Agenda and Council resolves to take the question from the table
Debate continues unaffected No
5. Previous question That the question be not now put Any Member who has not moved or seconded the substantive Motion or otherwise spoken to the substantive Motion
  1. During the election of a Chairperson;
  2. When another Member is speaking;
  3. When the matter is one where a Call of the Council has been made for that Meeting in accordance with section 85 of the Act;
  4. When an Amendment is before Council; or
  5. When a Motion would have the effect of causing Council to be in breach of a legislative requirement
  1. No Vote or further discussion on the Motion until it is placed on a subsequent Agenda for consideration at a later Meeting; and
  2. Proceed to next business
Motion (as amended up to that time) put immediately without further amendment or debate Yes
6. Proceeding to next business That the Meeting proceed to the next business
Note: This Motion:
  1. may not be amended;
  2. may not be debated; and
  3. must be put to the Vote as soon as seconded
Any Member who has not moved or seconded the substantive Motion or otherwise spoken to the substantive Motion

 

  1. During the election of a Chairperson;
  2. When another Member is speaking;
  3. When the matter is one in respect of which a call of the Council has been made in accordance with section 85 of the Act; or
  4. When a Motion would have the effect of causing Council to be in breach of a legislative requirement
If carried in respect of:
  1. An Amendment, Council considers the Motion without reference to the Amendment;
  2. A Motion - no Vote or further discussion on the motion until it is placed on an Agenda for a later Council Meeting
Debate continues unaffected No

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3.37 Repetitious motions

Once a Meeting has rejected a Motion, with or without Amendment, similar Motions to the same effect, even in a different form, are considered to be out of order at that Meeting. A Motion similar to an Amendment to a Motion already dealt with at a Meeting is also not permissible. However, the matter can be legitimately raised again at a subsequent Meeting in accordance with the provisions of this Local Law.

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3.38 Notices of motion

3.38.1 Prior to a Meeting, Members wanting to include a matter on the Agenda, must complete a Notice of Motion form.
3.38.2 A Notice of Motion form must be signed by the Member, and lodged with the Chief Executive Officer not less than one working day before the Agenda is provided to the Members to enable the Chief Executive Officer to:
3.38.2.1 give each other Member notice of such Notice of Motion; and
3.38.2.2 Meeting. to allow sufficient time for the Notice of Motion to be put in the Agenda for the next Council
3.38.3 The Chief Executive Officer will include the proposed Notice of Motion in the Agenda for the Meeting for which the Notice of Motion was intended, unless the Chief Executive Officer rejects the Notice of Motion on the grounds that it:
3.38.3.1 is vague;
3.38.3.2 is identical or substantially similar to a Notice of Motion or other Motion that has been considered by Council in the preceding six (6) months;
3.38.3.3 is defamatory;
3.38.3.4 may be prejudicial to any person or Council;
3.38.3.5 is objectionable in language or nature;
3.38.3.6 is outside the powers of Council; or
3.38.3.7 can be addressed through the operational service request process.
3.38.4 If rejecting a Notice of Motion, the Chief Executive Officer must:
3.38.4.1 give the Member who lodged it an opportunity to amend it, if practical to do so; and
3.38.4.2 if the Notice of Motion cannot be amended to the satisfaction of the Chief Executive Officer, notify the Member who lodged it that it will be rejected and explain the reasons for the rejection.
3.38.5 The Chief Executive Officer must cause all Notices of Motion to be numbered, dated and entered in the Notice of Motion book in the order in which they were received.
3.38.6 Except by leave of Council, each Notice of Motion must be considered in the order in which they were received by the Chief Executive Officer.
3.38.7 If a Member who has given a Notice of Motion is absent from the Meeting or fails to move the Motion when called upon by the Chairperson, any other Member may move the Motion.
3.38.8 If a Notice of Motion is not moved at the Meeting at which it is listed, it lapses.
3.38.9 The Chief Executive Officer may designate a Notice of Motion to be confidential in accordance with section 89(2) of the Act, in which case the Notice of Motion will be considered in a session of a Meeting that is closed to members of the public.

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3.39 Notice of rescission

3.39.1 Motions to revoke, rescind or alter a previous Resolution can be made:
3.39.1.1 by a Notice of Rescission Delivered to the Chief Executive Officer;
3.39.1.2 by recommendation contained in a report by a Member of Council Staff and included in the Agenda, that a previous Resolution be altered or revoked.
3.39.2 A Member may propose a Notice of Rescission provided that:
3.39.2.1 the Resolution proposed to be rescinded has not been acted on;
3.39.2.2 the effect of rescinding the Resolution will not place the Council at significant legal, financial or other risk, including non-compliance with statutory obligations; and
3.39.2.3 the Resolution proposed to be rescinded has not been acted upon.
3.39.3 the Notice of Rescission Delivered to the Chief Executive Officer sets out:
3.39.3.1 the Resolution to be rescinded; and
3.39.3.2 the Meeting and date at which the Resolution was made.

Explanatory Note:It should be remembered that a Notice of Rescission is a form of Notice of Motion. Accordingly, all provisions in this Local Law regulating Notices of Motion equally apply to Notices of Rescission

3.39.4 A Resolution will be deemed to have been acted on if:
3.39.4.1 its contents have, or substance has, been formally communicated to a person whose interests are materially affected by it; or
3.39.4.2 a statutory process has been commenced so as to vest enforceable rights in or obligations on Council or any other person.
3.39.5 The Chief Executive Officer or an appropriate Member of Council Staff must defer implementing a Resolution that:
3.39.5.1 has not been acted on; and
3.39.5.2 is the subject of a Notice of Rescission which has been Delivered to the Chief Executive Officer in accordance with this Clause 3.39, unless deferring implementation of the Resolution would place the Council at significant legal, financial or other risk.

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3.40 Loss of motion for rescission

If a Motion for rescission is lost, a similar Motion may not be put before Council for at least two (2) months from the date it was last lost, unless Council resolves that the Notice of Motion be re-listed at a future Meeting.


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3.41 Motion for rescission not moved

If a Motion for rescission is not moved at the Meeting at which it is listed, it lapses.


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3.42 Any member to move motion of rescission

A Motion for rescission listed on an Agenda may be moved by any Member present but may not be amended.


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3.43 Notice of rescission not required

A Motion for rescission is not required when Council wishes to amend a policy.

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3.44 Urgent business

3.44.1 Business can only be admitted as urgent business by Resolution of the Meeting, if the Motion is carried by the required number of Members present as follows:
 
Members Present
Votes Required to carry Motion
11
8
10
7
9
6
8
6
7
5
6
4
3.44.2

Even if the required Members carry the Motion, it still will not be accepted as urgent business unless it:

3.44.2.1 relates to or arises out of a matter which has arisen since distribution of the Agenda; and
3.44.2.2 cannot be deferred until the next Meeting without having a negative impact on the Council, the Municipal District or the local community; and
3.44.2.3 cannot be addressed through the operational service request process.
3.44.3 A Member proposing that a matter be admitted as urgent business must lodge a request in writing with the Chief Executive Officer by 4.00 pm on the day of the Meeting.
3.44.4 The Chief Executive Officer will advise the Chairperson of any matter that he or she determines to be appropriate for Council to consider admitting as urgent business.

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3.45 General business

3.45.1 If the Agenda for a Meeting makes provision for general business, the general business to be transacted will be at the discretion of the Chairperson.
3.45.2 Members may raise items of general business without notice to other Members. Other than to receive information, or seek further information, or a report, no Resolution to act on an item of general business may be accepted.
3.45.3 At Special Committee Meetings, Members may present information reports without notice to other Members.

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3.46 Discipline and suspensions

3.46.1 If any Member behaves offensively towards any other Member or Member of Council Staff, the offending Member will be required by the Chairperson to withdraw the expression and make a satisfactory apology to the Meeting.
3.46.2 A Member must not use defamatory, indecent, abusive or offensive words in reference to any other Member or Member of Council Staff.
3.46.3 The Chairperson may require a Member to withdraw any remark which is defamatory, indecent, abusive or offensive in language or substance.
3.46.4 A Member who is required to withdraw a remark must do so immediately, without qualification or explanation.
3.46.5 Any Member using defamatory, indecent, abusive or offensive language, and having been twice called to order, or to apologise for such conduct and refusing so to do, will be guilty of an Offence.
3.46.6 A Member must not make any noise or disturbance while another Member or Member of Council Staff is speaking. If they do so, the Chairperson must call upon the Member by name and the Member must immediately cease such disturbance.
3.46.7 If such noise or disturbance is continued and the Chairperson calls upon the Member by name a second time, such Member will be guilty of an Offence.
3.46.8 The Chairperson may suspend from a Meeting, for the balance of the Meeting, any Member whose actions have disrupted the business of the Council and impeded its orderly conduct.

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3.47 Removal from the meeting room

3.47.1 The Chairperson, an Authorised Officer, or the Council in the case of a suspension, may have any person removed from the Meeting room for reasons of disorderly conduct.
3.47.2 A person removed from a Meeting must leave the premises or move to a public area of the premises where they can no longer disrupt the Meeting.

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3.48 Public addressing the meeting

3.48.1 Members of the public may only address the Council in accordance with this Local Law.
3.48.2 Any member of the public addressing Council must extend due courtesy and respect to Council and the processes under which it operates and must take direction from the Chairperson whenever called on to do so.
3.48.3 Members of the public present at a Meeting must not interject during a Meeting.

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Part 4 - Use of the Common Seal

4.1 Purpose

The purpose of this Part is to regulate the use of the Common Seal and to prohibit any unauthorised use of the Common Seal or any device resembling the Common Seal, as required by Section 5(3)(c) of the Act.


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4.2 Use of the Common Seal

The Council’s Common Seal may only be used on the authority of the Council given either generally or specifically by Resolution.


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4.3 Signature to accompany Seal

Every document to which the Common Seal is affixed must be signed by the Chief Executive Officer or his or her delegate, and countersigned by the Mayor where required.


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4.4 Unauthorised use of the Common Seal

Any person who uses the Council’s common seal without authority or who uses a replica of the Council’s common seal is guilty of an offence.

Penalty: Five (5) penalty units.

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4.5 Security of the Common Seal

The Chief Executive Officer must ensure the security of the Common Seal at all times.


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Part 5 - Offences

5.1 Offences

5.1.1 It is an Offence in relation to the conduct of Meetings for:
5.1.1.1 a Member to refuse to withdraw an expression, considered by the Chairperson to be offensive as referred to in Clause 3.46 and to refuse to apologise after having been requested by the Chairperson to do so.
Penalty: Five (5) Penalty Units.
5.1.1.2 any person not being a Member, who is behaving in a disorderly or improper manner, to refuse to leave the Meeting room when requested to do so.
Penalty: Five (5) Penalty Units
5.1.1.3 any person to fail to obey a direction of the Chairperson in relation to the conduct of the Meeting and the maintenance of order.
Penalty: Five (5) Penalty Units
5.1.1.4 a Member to refuse to leave the Meeting room upon suspension.
Penalty: Five (5) Penalty Units.
5.1.1.5 a Member to knowingly disregard or refuses to comply with a Resolution.
Penalty: Five (5) Penalty Units

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Part 6 - Special Committees

6.1 Application to Special Committees

6.1.1 If Council establishes a Special Committee composed solely of Councillors, all of Parts 1, 3 and 5 apply to all Special Committee Meetings.
6.1.2 If Council establishes a Special Committee not comprised solely of Councillors, then:
6.1.2.1 Council may;
6.1.2.2 or the Special Committee may, resolve that any provision(s) of Parts 1, 3 and 5 of this Local Law is (or are) not to apply, whereupon that provision (or those provisions) will not apply until Council resolves, or the Special Committee with the approval of Council, resolves otherwise.
6.1.3 Notwithstanding clause 6.1.1 and 6.1.2 above, Parts 2 and 4 of this Local Law shall not apply to Special Committees unless otherwise resolved by the Special Committee Members.


This Local Law was made by Resolution of the Greater Geelong City Council on 20 September 2017.

THE COMMON SEAL of GREATER GEELONG )  
CITY COUNCIL was affixed hereto in )  
the presence of: )  
     
     
Chief Administrator    
     
     
Chief Executive Officer    


Council resolved to give notice of its intention to make this Local Law at its meeting held on 2 August 2017 date and this was duly notified in the Victoria Government Gazette on 10 August 2017 and the Geelong Advertiser on 12 August 2017.

Council resolved to adopt this Local Law at its meeting held on 20 September 2017 and this was duly notified in the Victoria Government Gazette on 28 September 2017 and the Geelong Advertiser on 30 September 2017.


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Page last updated: Tuesday, 3 December 2019

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