A submission is just a formal name for having a say on a topic. Generally, a submission will include both what you are requesting (or opposing), and also some reasons why you want (or don't want) that thing. All government (Councils = local government) must CONSULT on their projects, and plans. This means they must ask the general public for their opinions.
Most of the time, this is how it happens
Sometimes there will be 'informal feedback', workshops or surveys prior to step 1. There are sometimes 'stakeholder' meetings or feedback sessions. Any time you can give information, views or feedback BEFORE the draft comes out, the better the draft will be (and the less of a fight you will have to change it).
What Councils have open submissions?
Plans and Submissions
Good Old Fashioned Paper
Yes, you can still write or type up your comments and information and send it in. Look for preformatted submission forms, and see if there are local places you can drop your submission in to, or if it must be posted.
Most submissions can now be made online. Either via a web form, or by emailing your written submission into a specified email address.
Big topics will often have public meetings or workshops. Everyone is invited to attend. This can be a good way to understand the issues, and size up any opposition.
More and more Councils are allowing comments from Social Media, as well as more traditional methods. Do read whether there are any special hashtags, or posting methods you must use.
After you have made a formal written submission to council, or on the submission form, you are asked if you would like to make a verbal submission.
Say yes! Turning up to talk to council makes an impression.
If these 2 young girls can speak up, why can't you!
You will usually only have 5-10 minutes to speak. Do not just read out what your submission says. This is your chance to talk directly to the decision makers.
You can bring photos or make a presentation.
You will need to tell the organiser what you need (a projector etc) and they may ask you to bring enough copies for all the Councillors. Once your submission is over , you are not permitted to make any further comments.
Then it is the big wait to hear the decision. Sometimes you will be notified, sometimes not.
All Councils have websites. Look for the page titled "Have Your Say" or "Consultations"
Many let you sign up to be notified when things that interest you are available for comment.