Petitions and joint letters

outside of Council office

What is a petition?

A petition is a formal written application addressed to Council, submitted in printed or electronic format without erasure, and signed or electronically endorsed by at least ten people whose names and physical addresses also appear. Each page of the petition must bear the wording of the whole petition. 

Any person can organise a petition and request that it be formally received at a meeting of Council.

What is a joint letter?

A joint letter is a formal application to Council in the form of a letter which has been signed by at least ten people or executive/committee representatives from ten separate entities whose names and physical addresses also appear on the letter. A letter from a single entity or organisation that is signed by multiple parties from that organisation or entity will not be classed as a joint letter.  

What does a petition look like?

If you are the lead petitioner you will need to be the very first signature on the first petition page and provide contact details so we can reply to you.

A petition must have a:

  • title
  • brief statement telling us about the issue of concern
  • brief statement telling us what action you would like Council to take
  • list of every person signing the petition including, their name, street address and signature.

A petition or joint letter that does not follow the above steps may not be accepted by Council.

To start your petition download the petition template(DOCX, 952KB).

How do I lodge a petition or a joint letter?

To make sure your petition or joint letter is included in the agenda for the next meeting of Council, please submit all original petition pages or joint letter documents at least ten business days prior to the meeting.

You can:

  • hand deliver it to Surf Coast Shire Council 1 Merrijig Drive, Torquay between 8.30am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday
  • post it to Surf Coast Shire Council, PO Box 350, Torquay Vic 3228
  • email to
  • fax it to 5261 0525
  • hand deliver it to your local ward Councillor.

How is a petition or joint letter formally received?

Once you submit your petition or joint letter it will go to the next available Council Meeting where it is formally received, which means it is acknowledged, unless it is considered on the same night as an item of urgent business or as part an item already on the agenda. Please note, if your petition or joint letter is received less than ten business days prior to the next Council meeting, it will be received at the Council meeting the following month. 

What happens after the petition is formally received?

An officer report pertaining to any petition or joint letter may be required at a meeting of Council within three months of the date the petition was received.

Do I need to attend the meeting?

No, you do not need to attend the meeting but you are welcome to come along or to view the meeting via live streaming

Other information

Rule 23 in the Governance Rules(PDF, 597KB) governs petitions and joint letters.


  • Surf Coast Shire Council is committed to protecting all personal and sensitive information consistent with the principles set out in the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.
  • The personal information in a petition or joint letter will be used solely by Council for the primary purpose of petitioning Council or directly related purposes as permitted by law.
  • The signatories understand that the personal information provided is for presentation to Council and that they may apply to Council for access to and/or amendment of the information. 
  • Any personal information contained in a petition will be redacted from the public agenda.