EXCLUSIVE: Calls for City Councils to Increase Transparency by Streaming Meetings

 

There have been calls for local city councils to adopt live streaming in order to increase transparency and accountability to their ratepayers.

Paul Miles, the former Local Government Minister, believes that it is vitally important for councils to adopt live streaming in order to reach those ratepayers who may be unable to attend council meetings.

“I think it’s hugely important, I mean the number one thing is councils are spending our money… ratepayer’s money, and it’s important for us to know where that money is going,” he said.

“Transparency doesn’t just lend to the councillors, it goes all the way down the line, to every level of government.”

City of Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett also believes that taking up livestreaming is a good way to communicate and engage with the community

“Livestreaming of council meetings is another important way of communicating with the community, it’s an important aspect” he said.

Though the City of Cockburn is yet to embrace video recordings of meetings, Mr Howlett believes the issue will likely come before council at some point soon in the future. 

There are those who have concerns with the idea, however, and believe that having meetings recorded will change how people behave in them.

One such person is City of Melville Mayor Russel Aubrey, who believes that having an online audience will influence the behaviour of those attending meeting, including councillors.

 “How about those councillors that maybe have another agenda other than just representing the community, maybe have a political agenda and want to grandstand every event as it comes forward” he said.

One thing all of them agree on though, is that reduced costs have reduced the money barrier that faces councils to negligible levels, removing it is a major factor for consideration.

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1 Comment

  1. City of Melville Residents and Ratepayers Association (Inc.) Reply

    Well the City of Melville has a long track record of opposing such a push to improve transparency, including refusing to answer questions put to Council and limiting public question time.

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