Council may go live to homes
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