Submit a petition to Council

Find out about submitting a petition to Council; including what is a petition, how should it be worded, who should sign a petition, how Council considers petitions, Standing Orders Local Law and an example of a petition.

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Ratepayers and residents are encouraged to participate in Council's decision-making process. One of the ways the community can request Council consider an issue is by presenting a petition.

What is a petition?

A petition is defined as a formal written request, signed by many people, appealing to an authority in some cause. The cause or subject of the petition must be something that the Council has the authority to deal with or has a decision-making role. Typical examples are:

  • Request for a footpath to be constructed
  • Request for playground equipment on a reserve
  • Request for action to resolve a traffic problem.

Issues relating to police matters, for example, are not matters in which Council has any jurisdiction and requests concerning these types of issues need to be directed to the relevant authority. In these cases, you may choose to send a copy of the final petition to Council for its information.

How should the petition be worded?

Petitions should be worded carefully so that any potential signatories are able to clearly understand the purpose of the petition. The request or subject of the petition must be printed on the top of every page containing signatures of support. The petition should also be addressed to the Shire President and include a summary of reasons supporting the proposal.

The petition must be expressed in respectful and temperate terms and may be rejected if it is offensive or derogatory to the Council.

Who should sign a petition?

In accordance with Council's Standing Orders Local Laws, the Council will consider petitions made by electors or residents of the district. If the petition is presented to the Council meeting by an Elected Member, they must be familiar with the nature and contents of the petition. Therefore, discussing the petition with your local Elected Member and gaining his or her support for the proposal is important.

Of course, the other important factor is the number of supporters you can get to sign the petition. The more signatures, the stronger the argument in favour of the proposal. However, it is not appropriate to get just anyone to sign the petition. Signatures should be confined to ratepayers and residents of Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale, aged over 18 years and must be limited to those people affected by the proposal.

How will Council treat the petition?

When you have collected as many signatures on the petition as possible, it can be handed to the Elected Member with whom you have discussed the petition, posted to the Chief Executive Officer, who will arrange for an Elected Member to present your petition at the next Council meeting or you can attend the Council meeting to present the petition yourself.

Should Council resolve to accept your petition, the matter may be referred to an officer for a report to be prepared on the issue.

The person who submits the petition will be advised in writing of the decision of Council in respect to the proposal and it is the responsibility of that person to relay that outcome to the people who signed the petition.

Standing Orders Local Law

Example of a petition and covering letter