Council Develops More Options For Council Meetings
Thursday, 26 March, 2020 - 12:15
As Covid19 restrictions on movement continue to change, Mansfield Shire Council is preparing additional ways for the community to engage with Council meetings.
Mayor, Cr Marg Attley OAM said the March Council meeting used Facebook live stream, with limited success, and was broadcast through Mansfield Community Radio, 99.7FM, which worked very well.
“While council meetings are required to be open to the public, we actively encourage people not to attend during these restrictions, for their own safety. It means we need to find additional ways to give the community access,” Cr Attley said.
“We are exploring options for broadcasting our meetings online as we are mindful that not everyone has access to Facebook or radio coverage. One of our biggest issues to overcome is sound quality in our Council Chamber,” Cr Attley said.
Cr Attley thanked Mansfield Community Radio for their support in broadcasting the meetings.
“We will also introduce an online question form so that people can submit questions to Council ahead of the April regular meeting. This form will be on our website and I encourage the community to use it ahead of the 21 April meeting,” she said.
Many Victorian councils already offer the ability to submit questions online and then, usually, the person who submitted the question attends the meeting. In these times, submitting questions online means they can be answered at the meeting, without the person in attendance, and broadcast to the whole community via the radio or other means.
Earlier this week the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) called on the Victorian government to change the requirements so that council meetings can take place online.
Cr Attley said the law currently requires councillors to be physically in attendance at a council meeting in order to participate in council decision-making.
“If several of our Councillors were to become ill and we didn’t have a quorum then meetings might not be able to proceed. Therefore, we would prefer to be able to meet remotely to protect our health and our ability to serve the community,” Cr Attley said.