Coun­cil may go live to homes

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - NEWS -

Com­mu­nity mem­bers may be able to watch Baw Baw Shire Coun­cil meet­ings via live broad­cast.

Cr Danny Goss has called for a re­port into the po­ten­tial costs and sav­ings of broad­cast­ing coun­cil meet­ings live to the com­mu­nity.

He also sug­gested coun­cil could set up video links to re­mote ar­eas to en­able res­i­dents in re­mote ar­eas to ad­dress coun­cil dur­ing com­mu­nity par­tic­i­pa­tion time.

In a no­tice of mo­tion tabled at last week’s coun­cil meet­ing, Cr Goss re­quested of­fi­cers pre­pare a full re­port on the record­ing and broad­cast­ing of coun­cil meet­ings.

The mo­tion also re­quested of­fi­cers to in­ves­ti­gate the sys­tems and so­lu­tions sim­i­lar to those used by Welling­ton Shire Coun­cil.

Cr Goss said the re­port should in­clude costs in­curred as well as cost sav­ings.

“I am in favour of open govern­ment and more com­mu­ni­ca­tion with our ratepay­ers who can’t all get to coun­cil meet­ings.

“I want to bring the coun­cil to the peo­ple. This is the 21st cen­tury and there are ways of do­ing that,” he said.

Cr Goss said Welling­ton Shire broad­cast its coun­cil meet­ings and it also was avail­able on the web­site the fol­low­ing day.

He said there also was an op­por­tu­nity for com­mu­nity mem­bers to par­tic­i­pate in coun­cil meet­ings via skype or video con­fer­enc­ing.

He said he did not think it would be ex­pen­sive to do, pos­si­bly $900 a month and it would be good to know the im­pli­ca­tions of the ser­vice.

Cr Michael Leaney sup­ported the move, say­ing it was about “break­ing down the tyranny of dis­tance.”

Cr Leaney said it was dif­fi­cult for some peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate in coun­cil meet­ings.

He said some peo­ple in the outer ar­eas of the shire would have to travel one and a half hours to make a three minute sub­mis­sion, which was a “ter­ri­ble im­post.”

Cr Leaney said video links may mean peo­ple have bet­ter ac­cess to coun­cil and break down the bar­ri­ers.

“Baw Baw Shire is not all about Drouin and War­ragul,” he said.

Cr Mikaela Power said there may also be po­ten­tial for staff to use video con­fer­enc­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

“There may also be op­por­tu­ni­ties in other ar­eas of the busi­ness,” she said.

Cr Keith Cook said com­mu­nity in­volve­ment was im­por­tant and it was good for com­mu­nity mem­bers to see coun­cil­lors mak­ing de­ci­sions.

“How­ever, there would be a cost so I want to hear from the com­mu­nity and get feed­back on whether it’s a good idea to watch a pod­cast,” he said. it would

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