Council meetings to be live-streamed

Published on 18 April 2019

Council chambers

The Town of Victoria Park will live-stream its council meetings online from July in a bid to be more open and accessible and allow community to more easily engage with the local government process.

While the Town has been audio recording its relevant meetings for a number of years, it has not yet live-streamed them in any format.

Meetings live-streamed will be those open to the public: ordinary and special council meetings, meetings of committees with delegated authority, meetings of electors and the agenda briefing forum. Recordings of the meetings will also be made available on the Town’s website, for catch-up viewing.

“This is a great motion put forward by the community at our Annual Meeting of Electors and was supported by council to promote public participation, transparency and accessibility for those who cannot attend meetings,” said Mayor Trevor Vaughan.

“Soon, instead of having to head into the Council chambers on a Tuesday evening you’ll be able to watch and listen to the meetings from the comfort of your own home, whether you’re preparing dinner, or have just put the kids to bed.”

To protect the privacy of attendees in the public gallery, it is recommended within a Town policy that only elected members and relevant officers be videoed and recorded. Audio of comments made by the public will still be made available.

Initial quotes for the installation of a live streaming system are up to $30,000 for the initial set up, with an ongoing annual cost of $15,000 per year. The annual cost includes hosting and storage of audio-video recordings, and technical support associated with live-streaming.

Although the live-streaming of Council meetings is not mandatory in Western Australia, other jurisdictions, like New South Wales, have recently mandated the live-streaming of its Council meetings through a new code of practice effective as of 2019.

Local governments in Western Australia that conduct audio and video live-streaming of their Council meetings include the cities of Geraldton, Bunbury, Vincent and Swan. The City of Joondalup conducts live-streaming of its Council meetings only through audio.