Full stream ahead
PUSH TO SHOW MEETINGS LIVE
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.