Con­cern over live stream

Iden­ti­ties may be con­cealed if Noosa meet­ings broad­cast

Sunshine Coast Daily - - NEWS - PE­TER GAR­DINER

FACES of Noosa Coun­cil staff are likely to be shielded from view to pro­tect their pri­vacy if coun­cil­lors vote to adopt a rec­om­men­da­tion to live stream monthly or­di­nary and gen­eral com­mit­tee meet­ings.

Staff have been re­search­ing how other coun­cils have ap­proached broad­cast­ing of meet­ings to make their de­ci­sion-mak­ing pro­cesses more ac­ces­si­ble and have come up with a pre­ferred op­tion.

This is to use one fixed high­def­i­ni­tion cam­era and three “om­ni­di­rec­tional mi­cro­phones” that will cost $2100.

Live stream­ing may also be even­tu­ally ex­tended to the other com­mit­tee meet­ings held in open coun­cil.

CEO Brett de Chastel said some coun­cil staff had ex­pressed con­cern at “the po­ten­tial for their re­sponses in coun­cil and com­mit­tee meet­ings to be taken out of con­text and re­pro­duced on­line by other par­ties”.

“Our staff are not pub­lic fig­ures and they value their pri­vacy,” he said.

Mr de Chastel said some staff were also con­cerned about their per­sonal iden­tity ap­pear­ing on­line in video in line with staff who work at other coun­cils who cur­rently un­der­take live video stream­ing.

He said if the prac­tice was adopted at this round of meet­ings, Noosa would place the cam­era on the cham­ber roof look­ing along the ta­ble so staff who sit at the end would face away from the cam­era.

“This should min­imise, but not com­pletely elim­i­nate, some con­cerns,” he said.

Mr de Chastel said the risks of greater pub­lic scru­tiny in­cluded in­creas­ing the chance of defama­tion as there is no “par­lia­men­tary priv­i­lege” for lo­cal gov­ern­ment and the pos­si­bil­ity that some coun­cil­lors will “play to the cam­era”.

He said the Cen­tral High­lands Coun­cil had ad­vised “over­all be­hav­iours at coun­cil meet­ings has im­proved since the in­tro­duc­tion of live video”.


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