Livestreaming of Council meetings is set to become mandatory, under a new Model Code of Meeting Practice proposed by the NSW Government.
The Model Code of Meeting Practice will apply to all NSW Councils, and was announce by Local Government Minister Gabrielle Upton at the Local Government NSW Annual Conference in Sydney.
For the first time there will be a uniform set of meeting rules for councils across the state to help ensure more accessible, orderly, effective and efficient meetings, said Ms Upton.
The code is focused on improving transparency and public involvement in council meetings and the decision making process. It is promoting the use of technology to reach more ratepayers by proposing the mandatory webcasting of ordinary meetings by all councils in NSW.which will apply to all NSW councils.
The draft code is focused on improving transparency and public involvement in council meetings and the decision making process. It is promoting the use of technology to reach more ratepayers by proposing the mandatory webcasting of ordinary meetings by all councils in NSW.
“The reality is that many of us are time poor and with our work and family responsibilities it is simply not practical to expect all ratepayers who wish to attend council meetings to be able to attend,” Ms Upton said.
“The Government has introduced these measures so the community can have confidence in the people who represent them. Integrity is at the very heart of a councillor’s service,” Ms Upton said.
The move was welcomed by City of Sydney Councillor Craig Chung, who has campaigned for the council to introduce live-streaming of meetings.
“The City of Sydney are going to be dragged kicking and screaming to the modern age of technology to livestream council meetings,” Cr Chung said.
“There’s no audio, there’s no permanent record except from the shorthand notes of the secretariat,” Cr Chung said to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“They do their best, but there are occasions when they’ve wrongly recorded how individual councillors voted and incorrectly recorded what was said at the council meeting.”
The draft Model Code of Meeting Practice and the draft Councillor Induction and Professional Development Guidelines are on public exhibition until 16 March. The documents can be viewed on the Office of Local Government website at www.olg.nsw.gov.au.