will write to the Minister for Local Government requesting that the ability to
hold virtual meetings be made permanent.
to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Victorian Government in April passed legislation
which allowed for councillors or members to participate in virtual meetings,
including council, committee and governing body meetings, until 1 November
a large number of meetings relating to council business have been held
remotely, including last night’s council meeting.
group believes there are many benefits to virtual meetings, including that a
mildly unwell councillor can still remotely attend a meeting and contribute,
while demonstrating responsible social distancing. Remote attendance also
supports councillors who travel long distances to get to City Hall or have no
access to reliable transport and those with family commitments or health
reasons that prevent them from attending in person.
successful Notice of Motion (NoM) from Cr Jim Mason last night, the City’s CEO
will also investigate online platforms
that support a suitable hybrid model for virtual meetings.
The NoM also states that the
Council should advocate more broadly for virtual meetings to continue by moving
a motion at the next Municipal Association of Victoria State Council meeting
seeking a permanent change.
meetings have been held without the public present since March to reduce the
spread of coronavirus, however they continue to be live streamed
to hold virtual meetings has been essential for council and committee business
to continue safely during the pandemic. It’s incumbent upon us to show
leadership when it comes to community transmission and allow for councillors
and members to attend meetings virtually when unwell, while others are meeting
face to face.
group will continue to advocate for the legislation to be permanently changed.