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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Closed meetings

Your council may decide to close part of a meeting to the public. If it is a council meeting, the decision must be made by an absolute majority. If a council committee decides to close a meeting, it may do so by simple majority.

A meeting may be closed to the public only for the reasons outlined in regulation 15(2) of the Meeting Regulations. These reasons include:

  • personnel matters, including complaints against an employee of the council and industrial relations matters;
  • contracts and tenders, for the supply and purchase of goods and services and their terms, conditions, approval and renewal;
  • the security of the council, councillors and council staff; or the property of the council;
  • proposals for the council to acquire land or an interest in land or for the disposal of land;
  • information of a personal and confidential nature or information provided to the council on the condition it is kept confidential;
  • applications by councillors for a leave of absence;
  • matters relating to actual or possible litigation taken, or to be taken, by or involving the council or an employee or the council;
  • the personal hardship of any person who is a resident in, or is a ratepayer in, the relevant municipal area;
  • information that, if disclosed, is likely to confer a commercial advantage or impose a commercial disadvantage on a person with whom the council is conducting, or proposes to conduct, business; and
  • commercial information of a confidential nature.

Under regulation 15(3) of the Meeting Regulations, a meeting cannot be closed when council is acting as a planning authority, considering planning permits or dealing with matters relating to the sale of public land under section 178 of the Local Government Act.

The only instance in which your council may discuss matters under regulation 15(3) in closed session is where the matters to be considered relate to actual or possible legal action to be taken by or involving the council.