A petition is a formally drawn up request that can be used to lobby a law-making body such as Council. This generally involves a written request accompanied by a list of at least 10 signatures of people who support the request.
A petition is a mechanism to seek action from Council when all other means or avenues to resolve the issue have been exhausted.
Matters for petitions
Members of the community may lodge a petition regarding a matter in which they have an interest.
Petitions may request:
- the alteration of a policy or application of a policy;
- the reconsideration of some administrative decision;
- redress of local grievances.
If the matter of concern relates to a development application a petition can be used as a form of submission on active development applications during the public notification stage. This petition however would not be included in the petitioning process set out below. The “Get Involved with Development” information page from the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning provides more information on the development application process.
The petitioning process
The petition, if properly made (see preparing a petition below) will be placed on a Council meeting agenda and received by Council at an Ordinary Meeting of Council. The petition matter will not be debated at that meeting. It will be referred by the Chief Executive Officer to the relevant Council Directorate for action and response.
Council will formally notify the lead petitioner within 10 business days of receipt of the petition. In accordance with Council’s Standing Orders, the lead petitioner will be notified of the outcome of the petition within two months of it being presented to an Ordinary Meeting of Council.
Preparing a petition
Petitions should adhere to certain standards that ensure the message is brief and to the point. Petitions must:
- be an original document (photocopies will not be accepted);
- be legibly written or typed without erasures or alterations;
- contain a minimum of 10 signatories with names and addresses, which must be clearly written or printed and not pasted or fixed or transferred in any other way;
- be worded in acceptable terms, be proper, respectful and moderate in its language;
- refer to a matter on which the council has the power to act;
- contain the reasons for the petition and a request for action by Council at the top of each page;
- must contain a name and address of a lead petitioner, who will receive all correspondence regarding the petition. NOTE: If no lead petitioner is identified, the document will not be deemed to be a petition and will not be presented.;
- not exceed 250 words in total.
A person cannot sign the same petition more than once.
A sample petition template is available to assist.
Lodging a petition
Ensure you comply with the above standards and forward your petition to your local divisional councillor, or post to:
The Chief Executive Officer
Gympie Regional Council
PO Box 155
GYMPIE Qld 4570