Full stream ahead

PUSH TO SHOW MEET­INGS LIVE

The Advocate (Perth) - - FRONT PAGE - Lisa Thomas

THE City of Swan could live stream and record coun­cil meet­ings as early as next year.

Coun­cil­lor Adam Ko­valevs suc­cess­fully moved at last week’s meet­ing that the City im­prove the au­dio sys­tem in the coun­cil cham­bers dur­ing the 2017-18 fi­nan­cial year and spend $250,000 on in­stalling ap­pro­pri­ate equip­ment for video con­fer­enc­ing, live stream­ing and recording of coun­cil meet­ings.

Cr Ko­valevs said the coun­cil had the op­por­tu­nity to be a leader in lo­cal gov­ern­ment and en­gage with res­i­dents.

“We are elected by our com­mu­nity to rep­re­sent them… they should be able to hear what we are do­ing with­out com­ing into the coun­cil cham­ber,” he said.

“This is a great way to get peo­ple in­volved. It pro­vides them with an op­por­tu­nity to hear their lo­cal gov­ern­ment at work.

“It will also go a long way in im­prov­ing trans­parency.”

Cr Mark El­liott said he be­lieved live stream­ing of coun­cil meet­ings would re­sult in greater trans­parency.

Cr Maria Haynes voted against the mo­tion and said she was con­cerned it would lead to risk of defama­tion from coun­cil­lors.

Cr David McDon­nell said the cost of $250,000 was a small amount of money to ac­tively en­gage with ratepay­ers.

He said he be­lieved it would lift the stan­dard of de­bate and be­hav­iour in the coun­cil cham­bers. “Any mech­a­nism that gives greater trans­parency should be sup­ported,” he said.

Cr McNa­mara voted against the mo­tion and said dur­ing his time in lo­cal gov­ern­ment he had never been asked why there was no live stream­ing.

Cr Peter Lyn­don-James said he sup­ported greater trans­parency.

“It would be good for the pub­lic to see how coun­cil works and that we are hon­est, have in­tegrity and are ac­count­able,” he said.

Cr Claire Scan­lan said young fam­i­lies, FIFO work­ers, the elderly and peo­ple with dis­abil­ity of­ten found it dif­fi­cult to at­tend coun­cil meet­ings.

Live stream­ing would give them with a chance to watch the meet­ings from home. The mo­tion was car­ried 9-6.

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