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Attend a public hearing or meeting

Notification of the public hearing or meeting

The Independent Planning Commission will give a minimum of two weeks’ (14 days) notice of a public hearing or meeting.

The Commission will give notice of the public meeting via an advertisement published on its website and social media channel/s. It will also issue a media release to news outlets in the local area where the development is proposed.

The Commission will notify via direct email all persons (including public authorities) who had previously made a submission to the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) during its consultation period/s, the local council (both elected representatives and civic management), and state and federal MPs in the area.

Timing of the public hearing or meeting

Public hearings and meetings will generally be held as soon as practicable after the Commission has received the DPE's Assessment Report.

The Commission will select a day, or days, that it believes will accommodate the greatest number of interested parties. The length of a public hearing or meeting will be at the discretion of the Commission. Hearings and meetings will generally be held during the day but may sometimes include an evening session.

Format of the public hearing or meeting

The Commission may choose to conduct public hearings and meetings wholly in person, wholly remotely by electronic means (i.e. via telephone and/or videoconference) or some combination of the two.

The Commission will generally aim to have both in-person and remote options for participation but may elect to conduct a hearing wholly in person or wholly electronically. Matters that the Commission may consider in deciding this may include:

  • the likely numbers of participants at the public hearing or meeting
  • the availability of a suitable site for the in-person component of the public hearing or meeting
  • the availability of reliable telecommunications for the remote component of the public hearing or meeting; and
  • external factors such as any public health orders or related guidance.

Information about the development application

The Commission’s website will provide a link to the Department’s website where the application and other relevant documents – including public submissions made to the Department and the Commission – are published.

Registering to speak

Anyone can register to speak at a public hearing or meeting by completing a registration form, available on the relevant case page on our website.

Speaker registrations are not automatically accepted. Applications will be processed and confirmed by the Office of the Independent Planning Commission, typically within two (2) business days.

The Commission uses the information from the registration form to allocate speaking times ahead of the public hearing or meeting.

Approximately 24 hours prior to the hearing or meeting, the Commission will release a schedule of registered speakers, including timings, on the our website.

The Chair of the Commission panel may, at their discretion, allow a speaker additional time during the public hearing or meeting if the information contained in their presentation is new or particularly detailed and relevant.

At the public hearing or meeting

The Commission does not present information at a public hearing or meeting. The hearing or meeting is instead an opportunity for the Commission panel to hear directly from interested individuals and groups about the issues of concern to them. While Commissioners may ask questions or seek clarification from registered speakers, this is generally not necessary.

The Commission may engage the use of a Counsel Assisting to assist the Commission panel in the conduct of the public hearing or meeting. The Counsel Assisting may ask questions or seek clarification from speakers. No questions or cross-examination will be permitted from others in attendance.

What to expect at the hearing or meeting

When a public meeting relates to a development application for which the Commission is the consent authority, the public meeting process may involve:

  • the Chair of the panel giving a brief opening statement that describes the process and the Commission’s role in determining the development application
  • the Applicant providing a description of the proposed development
  • DPE presenting the findings of its Assessment Report on the application
  • members of the public presenting to the Commission panel in accordance with the times set out in the published speaker schedule

Once all registered speakers have presented to the panel, the Chair may close or adjourn the public hearing or meeting for a short period of time to allow the Commissioners (with the assistance of Counsel Assisting where they have been engaged) to consider what they have heard.

After the adjournment, the Commission panel may ask follow-up questions of the Applicant or the Department, which can either be answered immediately at the hearing or meeting or taken on notice.

Participating in the hearing or meeting

In circumstances where a public hearing or meeting is conducted wholly in person, the panel will hear presentations from registered speakers in a face-to-face public setting. When a public hearing or meeting is conducted wholly electronically, registered speakers will present to the panel via telephone and/or videoconference; however, it’s most likely that public hearings and meetings will comprise both a face-to-face and electronic component. This ‘hybrid’ approach will ensure greater accessibility to this important part of the Commission’s decision-making process.

Registered speakers must ensure their presentations are factually accurate and otherwise contain expressions of opinion which they honestly hold. They must also refrain from making offensive, threatening or defamatory statements.

Where possible, registered speakers should provide a copy of their speech/presentation to the Commission for record keeping purposes.

The general running of the public meeting is within the discretion of the chair of the Commission panel, including:

  • stopping a person from speaking if he or she is making offensive, threatening or defamatory statements. This includes where a speaker names or singles out a particular person or group’s view
  • permitting the substitution of speakers
  • granting additional time for a speaker at the public meeting
  • granting a late application to speak

During in-person public meetings, registered speakers are not permitted to interact with the audience during their presentation – for example, asking for a ‘show of hands’ or otherwise requesting the audience indicate their views. Alcohol is also not permitted to be taken into a public meeting and anyone who is intoxicated and/or acting in a disorderly manner will be asked to leave.

Viewing a public hearing or meeting

Where a public hearing or meeting is conducted wholly in person, the public hearing or meeting will generally be open to the public to attend (subject to capacity constraints at the venue) unless the Commission determines it is in the public interest for the public hearing or meeting to take place in private due to the confidential nature of any evidence or matter or for any other reason.

Where a public hearing or meeting is conducted wholly remotely by electronic means, the Commission will livestream proceedings on its website and/or social media channels.

In the interests of openness and transparency, the public hearing or meeting proceedings will be recorded with a transcript published on our website.

For more information, please see our Public Hearing Guidelines and Public Meeting Guidelines.

 

Have Your Say
Have Your Say

We recognise the importance of community participation in our decision-making process. Using our ‘Have Your Say’ form is the easiest way for you to make a submission on cases currently before the Commission.

Have Your Say