Policies & Papers

The Council and its operations are guided by legislation, policies and governing papers including by-laws, delegations, petitions, deputations, internal reviews and freedom of information.


A review of the City of Unley's By-Laws was undertaken in 2015. Following community consultation, the revised By-Laws were endorsed by Council and became effective from 1 January, 2016.


Our policies reflect the culture, values and strategic direction of the Council and our community.

Policies provide an explanation as to why activities are undertaken, provide guidelines for action and are a mechanism for dealing with matters as they arise on a day-to-day basis.


Councils are required to undertake specific functions and duties, and can exercise certain powers, pursuant to the Local Government Act 1999 and a range of other Acts. In most cases the relevant Acts grant these obligations and powers directly to the Council.

As it is neither practical nor efficient for the Elected Member body to perform the many operational activities required by legislation or to meet community needs, Section 44 of the Local Government Act 1999 allows a Council to formally delegate many of its functions and powers to the Chief Executive Officer who may then sub-delegate the powers and functions to other responsible staff, or to a Committee of Council.

Public Registers

The below registers are available to the public in accordance with the Local Government Act 1999.


The local government system is designed to provide the community with opportunities to raise concerns about matters in their area.

If you or a group of people would like to raise an issue with Council, you can contact your Elected Members or the Chief Executive Officer in writing or person, or by telephone or email.

You can also raise these concerns by lodging a petition—a document containing the names, signatures and addresses of a group of people who have a common cause to present to the Council. As petitions are regarded as a legitimate form of communication with Council, it is the responsibility of petitioners to ensure certain procedures are followed.
  • Submit a petition

    Step 1

    View the Local Government (Procedures at Meetings) Regulations 2013 to find out how to format your petition and how it will be handled by Council.

    The Regulations specify that each page of the petition must:

    • Be legibly written or typed or printed
    • Clearly set out the request or submission of the petitioners (at the top of the page)
    • Show the name of each person printed with their signature and address and
    • Be addressed to the Council and delivered to the Civic Centre.

    Step 2

    Prepare your petition using the Council’s petition template and distribute it to the community.
    Petitions Submission Process & Template

    Step 3

    Provide a cover letter with the petition detailing the name, address and contact details of the Head Petitioner(s) to whom we can address correspondence.

    The petition must:

    • Be in the English language (or be accompanied by a translation and certified as such by a host petitioner)
    • Be signed personally by every petitioner unless a Power of Attorney exists
    • Not include photocopies or signatures pasted on to the petition
    • Ensure Corporations must be signed under Seal
    • Not incldue letters or affidavits or other document(s) as attachments
    • Be respectful to the Council and individuals
    • Include the original copy of each page of the petition.

    Step 4

    Submit the petition to the Council by lodging it with the Chief Executive Officer at the Civic Centre, 181 Unley Road, Unley, no later than five clear business days before a Council meeting.
  • Presenting a petition to Council
    Once the petition is received by the CEO, it will be tabled at the next available Council meeting with a short report indicating a suggested course of action.

    In certain circumstances, the CEO may informally communicate with Elected Members so they are aware of its existence prior to the Council meeting. As a petition is a public document, it will be made available to Elected Members and the public in its entirety as part of the Council Meeting Agenda, and published on the Council's website.

    Members of the public are welcome to attend all Council and Section 41 Committee meetings but cannot participate in the debate at these meetings. However, a deputation may be requested to present a matter to all Elected Members at a Council meeting.

    You will be contacted regarding the status of your petition when a recommendation is made by Council.
  • Petitions on Development Assessment matters

    There is no specific provision for lodging petitions under the Development Act 1993. A petition relating to a Development Application is treated as a “representation” before the Development Assessment Panel. The host petitioner is entitled to address the Panel when the matter arises, in accordance with the Development Act 1993.

    The petition/representation should:

    • Be addressed to the “Presiding Officer and Members of the City of Unley Development Assessment Panel”
    • Be lodged with the Chief Executive Officer
    • Meet the criteria in Section 38 and Regulation 35 of Development legislation.


    The document must:

    • Be received within the advertised period of the Development Application
    • Include the names and addresses of the people making the representation
    • Nominate the person who is to be taken as making the representation (if no individual is named, the first person listed will be taken to be making the representation)
    • Set out with reasonable particularity, the reasons for the representation i.e. provide details of the petitioners’/representors’ views concerning the Development Application in question and
    • Indicate whether or not the person(s) making the representation wish(es) to be heard by the Development Assessment Panel.
  • Display of petitions within Council facilities


A deputation is an oral way of presenting a matter to Elected Members at a Council meeting.

It is undertaken in accordance with the Code of Practice - Procedures at Meetings and the Local Government (Procedures at Meetings) Regulations 2013.

Members of the public are welcome to attend all Council and Section 41 Committee meetings but cannot participate in the debate at these meetings.


Deputation Information Sheet & Request Form
  • Request to make a deputation
    If you or a group of people (maximum of three) wish to make a deputation, you must lodge a written request or completed Deputation Request Form with the Council’s Chief Executive Officer, addressed to City of Unley Civic Centre, 181 Unley Road, Unley SA 5061.


    You are required to:

    • Be clear in stating the topic you wish to speak about and ensure it is relevant to the matters which the Council or Committee has responsibility for.
    • Provide sufficient information regarding the issue.
    • Indicate the preferred meeting at which you would like to be heard.
    • Lodge the written notification form at least five clear business days before the meeting at which you wish to speak.


    To determine the topics scheduled at any forthcoming Council or Committee meeting you can access meeting agendas on our website or contact us on 8372 5111.

  • What happens with your request
    When your deputation request is received by the CEO, it will be provided to the Mayor or the Presiding Member of the relevant.

    The Mayor or Presiding Member will confer with the CEO and advise whether or not the deputation is allowed. Council will then contact you to advise the outcome of your deputation request and if permitted confirm the date and time of the relevant meeting.

    If consent for a deputation is refused by the Mayor or Presiding Member, it must be reported at the next Council or Committee meeting. The Council or Committee has the power to permit a deputation to be made even though the Mayor or Presiding Member initially refused the request.
  • Making your deputation

    If your request has been granted, you will be invited to attend a Council or Committee meeting.

    • Deputations will start approximately five to ten minutes following the opening of the meeting at 7pm (although timing cannot be guaranteed).
    • The Mayor or Presiding Member will invite you to come forward and make your deputation on the topic or issues you have nominated.
    • You will be asked to state your name which will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.
    • You and other representors will have five minutes in total to present your deputation. If you have briefing notes, handouts or an electronic presentation to assist in your deputation, they will be included in or appended to the meeting minutes.
    • Following your deputation, Elected Members will be invited to ask questions for a total of five minutes.
    • Conduct yourself in a professional manner at the level of formality appropriate to the meeting.
    • Refrain from making defamatory or derogatory comments and any comments that are critical of Council members or Council staff. Council and Committee meetings are open to the public and there are no privileges protecting you in relation to defamation.

    Any matters of concern regarding Council Members and Council staff can be raised formally in writing with the Chief Executive Officer or as per the Complaints Handling procedures.

    Representors cannot participate in the debate or ask any questions of Council.

Internal Review of a Council Decision

The City of Unley recognises the importance of transparency in Council decision-making and the need to provide a fair, objective and consistent process for the internal review of Council decisions.

If you are unhappy or dissatisfied with a Council decision and would like it reviewed, we encourage you to raise this with us. Visit the Customer Service Centre at 181 Unley Road, Unley during office hours or complete an online feedback form.

If you’re still dissatisfied, you can ask us to conduct an internal review of the decision.

Council has established a procedure for an Internal Review of Council Decision, in accordance with Section 270(1) of the Local Government Act 1999, that provides guidelines for how we will handle formal requests for a review of a decision of Council, its employees and other people acting on behalf of Council.

For further details and instructions of how to apply, view Procedure for an Internal Review of a Council Decision.

If you have any questions or need help completing the application, please contact us.

Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 1991 gives you the right to access documents in the Council's possession (subject to certain restrictions). It also allows amendments of documents in defined circumstances.

The Act only allows access to documents in Governments' possession and not documents owned by the private sector.

To apply, please read and complete the relevant form.

We suggest discussing your requirements with the Freedom of Information Officer before lodging an application. You can contact the Freedom of Information Officer by phoning 8372 5111 or by emailing pobox1@unley.sa.gov.au 

Freedom of Information Statement - City of Unley

Reconciliation Statement

The City of Unley recognises that the Kaurna people are the traditional owners and occupiers of the land that now comprises the City of Unley.

We apologise for the pain, the grief and suffering experienced by Australian Indigenous people as a result of past laws, government policies, actions and attitudes. The City of Unley expresses deep sorrow that these actions and attitudes have occurred and has determined that such occurrences will not be repeated.

The City of Unley commits itself to an ongoing process of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and recognises the historical and environmental significance of Kaurna sites within the City.

We recognise the significance and richness of the Kaurna culture and language.

Signed by Kaurna Elders Lewis O'Brien and Doris Graham and Mayor Michael Keenan on 30 November 2001.