Operating Procedures for Council (Standing Orders)

These Standing Orders shall be applicable to all Council and Council Committee Meetings


1. These Standing Orders shall be applicable to all Council and Council Committee Meetings, and shall be construed subject to the Act.

2. Meetings shall, subject to the presence of a quorum, start at the time set out on the notice/paper, and shall, subject to the discretion of the meeting, continue until all business on the Agenda is disposed of.


3. If no quorum is present within 30 minutes of the starting time set out on the notice/paper, the meeting shall lapse and, subject to any resolution previously passed, the Chair shall fix the time of the next meeting. All business on the Agenda of the lapsed meeting shall be included on the Agenda of the next meeting and shall take precedence over new business.

Priority of Members

4. Any member desiring to speak at Meetings shall address the Chair when called upon by the Chair. If two or more members indicate their desire simultaneously, the Chair shall call upon the member who first caught the Chair’s eye.

Priority of Chairman

5. When the Chair speaks any member speaking shall cease to do so.


6. Each member of Council has the right to propose a motion in accordance with this provision.

7. Council Committees may propose a motion or make a recommendation to Council where so decided by a majority vote of the members at the Council Committee Meeting.

8. A notice of motion, report or other business must be submitted in writing to the University Secretary 10 days before the day of the Meeting. Matters submitted after this time may be accepted at the discretion of the Chair.

9. At each Meeting, provision will be made for members to raise issues for discussion. During this session, the formal rules of debate do not apply and motions will not be considered. Any motion which might arise is to be taken as a motion on notice for the subsequent Meeting.

10. If a member raises a petition or similar urgent matter at a meeting without notice, no decision is permitted on the motion until the next meeting unless Council decides that in all the circumstances the matter should be dealt with urgently. Council may decide to postpone discussion to allow supporting information to be made available to facilitate discussion, refer the matter to a committee or other body with delegated authority to report back to Council with recommendations, consider the matter at a later meeting, or handle the matter as otherwise determined by it.

Amending Motions

11. A motion may be amended at any time during the debate by:

1. Striking out certain words.

2. Adding certain words.

3. Striking out certain words and adding others in their place, always provided that the substance of the original motion is retained. If an amendment is carried it then takes the place of the motion.

Withdrawal of Motions

12. A motion or amendment before the Chair shall not be withdrawn except by its mover and by leave of the meeting.

Rewording Motions

13. A motion or amendment before the Chair may be reworded by the mover subject to leave of the meeting.

Speaking to Motions

14. Except in Council Committee Meetings, no member other than the proposer of a motion or an amendment shall speak to it until it has been seconded.

15. Except in Council Committee Meetings, no member shall speak more than once to any question, except that the mover of a motion (but not of an amendment) shall have a right of reply, which reply shall close the debate.

16. A member moving a motion or amendment shall be deemed to have spoken to it. A member seconding a motion or amendment without speaking to it may reserve his right to speak to it subsequently.


17. Only one amendment at a time may be proposed and discussed with the motion. For the purpose of debate, the motion shall be the question before the Chair. If there is no further discussion, or if the motion “That the question be now put” is carried, the mover of the original motion may reply. The mover of an amendment has no right of reply.

Order and Number of Speakers

18. Not more than two members shall be allowed to speak in succession for or against any question. If at the conclusion of the second speaker’s remarks no member rises to speak on the other side, the motion or amendment shall be put to the vote.

Points of Order

19. Any member may raise a point of order, which shall take precedence over other business. The point must be raised at the time the alleged irregularity occurred. A contradiction shall not constitute a point of order.

Disagreement with Chair

20. Any member disagreeing with the Chair’s ruling on any matters may move dissent. When a motion to disagree with the ruling of the Chair has been duly proposed and seconded, the Chairperson shall leave the Chair until the motion has been disposed of by the meeting. The mover only shall speak to the motion and the Chair may explain the reasons for the ruling given. The motion shall then be put to the meeting by the temporary Chair who is chosen by agreement of the majority of members present.

‘Question may now be put’

21. A member who has not already participated in the debate at any time, whether another speaker has the floor or not, may move “That the question be now put”, which motion if accepted by the Chair, shall be put without amendment or debate.


22. A member may move, “That the debate (or meeting) be now adjourned”. Such motion shall be put immediately. Discussion shall be allowed only as to time and/or place. The motion shall take precedence over other business before the Chair except points of order.

Suspension of Standing Orders

23. A motion for the suspension of may be moved at any time. The motion shall be put immediately and requires a two-thirds majority of those present and voting.


24. No member shall speak to any question after it has been put to the vote by the Chair. No member shall reflect on the vote of a meeting, except on a motion for the rescission of any resolution previously adopted. No member shall reflect on a Section of the Act or a Standing Order, except on a motion (of which due notice was given) to amend or repeal such Section or Order.

Defects in Decisions

25. Any decision made by a validly constituted meeting shall not be void by reason only of a departure from these Standing Orders which was not detected till after the decision had been made.

Alteration of Standing Orders

26. Alterations to these Standing Orders shall only be made by a Meeting after 14 days’ notice has been given.

Reference Authority

27. Any matters not dealt with in the above Standing Orders shall be ruled on by the Chair.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer