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Live Streaming and Publishing Recordings of Council Meetings Council Policy

Live Streaming and Publishing Recordings of Council Meetings Document No: CPL40.2
Approval Date: 24 July 2018
Approved By: Council
Review Date: July 2021
Responsible Officer: Executive Manager, Governance & Legal Services Version No 02
Authorising Officer: Chief Executive Officer on behalf of Council


1. Purpose

This Policy outlines the requirements associated with the live streaming and publishing recordings of Ordinary and Special Council Meetings via Council’s website. This policy will inform members of the public and Councillors on Council’s processes, the potential benefits and any mitigation action to manage potential risks.

Council is committed to improving accessibility and community participation in Council meetings. It is anticipated that the live streaming of meetings and making recordings available on Council’s website will provide greater flexibility and convenient access for residents, as it will allow the public to watch the meeting in real time via the internet without the need to attend in person.

This gives the community greater access to Council decisions and debate, and eliminates geographic and time barriers which may prevent the public from attending meetings in person.


2. Scope

This policy will apply to all public Ordinary Meetings and Special Meetings conducted by the Greater Geelong City Council (Council) to be live streamed or recorded and published in accordance with this policy. The policy does not extend to any meetings closed to the public in accordance with Section 89(2) of the Local Government Act (Vic) 1989.


3. References

  • Councillor Code of Conduct

  • Staff Code of Conduct

  • Meeting Procedures Local Law 2017

  • Local Government Act (Vic) 1989

  • Privacy and Data Protection Act (Vic) 2014

  • Freedom of Information Act (Vic) 1983

  • Copyright Act (Cth) 1968

  • Defamation Act (Vic) 2005 (or its equivalent)


4. Definitions

Chairperson has the same meaning as defined in the Greater Geelong City Council Meeting Procedures Local Law 2017

City means the Council administration, led by the Chief Executive Officer

City Hall means the Council Conference and Reception Centre, Little Malop Street, Geelong

Council means the ‘Greater Geelong City Council’

Council Meetings means Ordinary Meetings and Special Meetings that aren’t Confidential Council Meetings.

Confidential Council Meeting means a Meeting of the Council which has been closed to members of the public under Section 89(2) of the Local Government Act 1989

Defamation means words which convey a meaning (or “imputation”) about a person that lowers the person’s reputation in the eyes of reasonable members of the community, or causes the person to be ridiculed, avoided or despised by members of the general public.

Exceptional Circumstances means circumstances where there is:

  • a risk or threat to public health and safety;

  • a threat of violence or aggression by one or more people attending the Council Meeting against others;

  • unlawful conduct by an attendee of the Council Meeting;

  • significant disruption of the Council Meeting by the conduct of an attendee; and/or

  • a reputational risk to the Council.

Inappropriate Information means information which amounts to, or could be perceived to amount to:

  • Defamation;

  • infringement of copyright;

  • breach of privacy;

  • offensive behaviour including discrimination;

  • vilification or inciting hatred;

  • confidential or privileged; or

  • misleading.

Ordinary Meeting means an Ordinary Meeting of the Council, as defined in Section 83(a) of the Local Government Act 1989, held at City Hall

Privacy Breach means unauthorised access to, or collection, use or disclosure of personal information in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act (Vic) 2014.

Special Meeting means a Special Meeting of the Council, as defined in Section 83(b) of the Local Government Act 1989, held at City Hall


5. Council Policy

5.1 Meetings to be Recorded and Streamed Live

Council Meetings may be video recorded and streamed live on the City’s website.

Council commits to live streaming and recording and publishing all Council Meetings where it is practically possible to do so, including that the required equipment and internet connections are available to enable live streaming and recording and publishing.

Where a Council Meeting will be live streamed or recorded, public notice must given as set out in clause 5.6 of this policy.

Confidential Council meetings, or confidential sections of Council Meetings will not be live streamed or recorded.


5.2 Councillors, Council officer, public responsible for their own comments

Council Meetings are an open forum of statements, questions and answers. Occasionally, comments could be made which may contain Inappropriate Information.

By live streaming and publishing recordings of Council Meetings, the potential audience is significantly increased, which also increases the likelihood and/or impact of Inappropriate Information.

Councillors, Council officers and members of the public are solely responsible for their own comments made during Council Meetings which are recorded or live streamed. The comments they make, particularly if they contain Inappropriate Information, could give rise to a cause of action by an aggrieved individual who suffers loss and damage as a result of those comments, and there is a risk that such cause of action could be prosecuted through a court of appropriate jurisdiction.


5.3 Liability of the organisation arising from publication

While Councillors, Council officers and members of the public attending a Council Meeting may be held personally liable for any loss or damage suffered by a person arising from the comments they make, the act of publishing such material on the City’s website may also cause the organisation to be liable for any loss and damage suffered by a person because of the published comments.

In recognition of the potential legal risk to the City, the Chief Executive Officer may determine in their sole discretion not to upload or publish a recording of a Council Meeting if it is reasonably believed it may contain Inappropriate Information or where Exceptional Circumstances arise.


5.4 Public attending a Council Meeting may have their image recorded and/or streamed

The City will use its best endeavours to ensure images of people in the public gallery of a Council Meeting are not live streamed or recorded and published.

People in the public gallery of a Council Meeting which will be recorded and/or live streamed must be given appropriate notice of the possibility of their image being recorded and published and/or streamed.

The City expressly provides no assurances to people present in the public gallery of a Council Meeting that their image won’t be recorded and published or live streamed.


5.5 No reliance on recording or live stream of Council Meeting

The opinions or statements made during the course of the Council meeting are those of the particular individuals, and not necessarily the opinions or statements of the City. The City does not necessarily endorse or support the views, opinions, standards or information contained in the live streaming or published recordings of the Council Meetings.

The City does not accept any responsibility for the comments made or information provided during Council Meetings and does not warrant nor represent that the material or statements made during the live streamed or published recordings of Council Meetings are complete, reliable, accurate or free from error. The City does not accept any responsibility or liability for any loss, damage, cost or expense that a person might incur as a result of using or relying on information or statements provided in the live streaming or recording of Council Meetings.


5.6 Notice to the Public

When a Council Meeting is to be recorded and/or live streamed:

  • prominent signage informing all attendees of the Council Meeting that the meeting will be recorded and streamed live in the terms set out in Attachment 1 must be provided;

  • at the commencement of each Council Meeting to be recorded and/or streamed live, the Chairperson shall provide a statement to notify the attendees of the Council Meeting that the meeting will be recorded and/or streamed live in the terms set out in Attachment 2;

  • notice will also be given in the Council Meeting agenda as set out in Attachment 3; and

  • where the recording is to be published on Council’s website, notice will also be given on Council’s website in the terms set out in Attachment 4;

  • a copy of this policy will be referenced in all online notices given under this clause.

The Chief Executive Officer, in his or her discretion, may from time to time update the terms of the notices to be given under this clause without updating this policy.


5.7 Technical Disclaimer

There may be situations where, due to technical difficulties a live stream of the Council Meeting may not be available. Whilst all reasonable efforts will be made to ensure that live streaming and the City’s website are functioning, the City takes no responsibility for and cannot be held liable for, the live streaming or the City’s website being temporarily unavailable due to technical issues beyond the City’s direct control.

Technical issues may include, but are not limited to:

  • the availability of the internet connection;

  • device failure or malfunction;

  • unavailability of social media platforms; and/or

  • power outages.

Where live streaming is the subject of a disruption, the City will notify the public on both its social media channels and the City’s website (if those channels have not been functionally compromised).


5.8 Termination of live streaming in Exceptional Circumstances

The Chairperson and/or the Chief Executive Officer has/have the discretion and authority at any time to direct the termination or interruption of live streaming of a Council Meeting where:

  • there are Exceptional Circumstances; or

  • the content of the Council Meeting is considered by the Chair to contain Inappropriate Information.


5.9 Access and Storage of Files

All recordings will be uploaded to the City’s website within five business days of the meeting. Following a Council Meeting, members of the public will be able to access and watch the recording on City’s website.

These recordings of the Council Meetings will be published on the City’s website for a period of up to 12 months.

In recognition of the legal and reputational risk to the City, the Chief Executive Officer may determine in their sole discretion not to publish a recording if it is reasonably believed to contain Inappropriate Information or where Exceptional Circumstances are apparent from the recording.

All recordings of Council meetings will be maintained in accordance with City’s Records and Document Management Policy and related procedures.


6. Reporting

Every quarter, Council must be provided with information about the use and access of live streaming or published recordings of Council Meetings.


7. Review

This Policy will be reviewed within six months of a general election.


8. Quality Records

Quality Records shall be retained for at least the period shown below.

Record Retention/Disposal Responsibility Retention Period Location
       
       
       
       
       
       


9. Attachments

Attachment 1

Public Gallery Notice

The following will be posted in a prominent location at a Council Meeting that which is to be recorded or streamed live:

This meeting is being publicly broadcast on the internet and the recording will be published on Council’s website www.geelongaustralia.com.au after the meeting.

As a visitor in the public gallery, you may be filmed. By remaining in the public gallery, you consent to being filmed and for the recording of you to be made publicly available by the Council.

Details about the broadcasting and recording of Council meetings is available in the Council’s Live Streaming and Recording of Council Meetings Policy which is available in hard copy at this meeting and electronically on the Council’s website.

If you have any questions about the Council’s policy, please speak with one of the City’s staff here tonight.


Attachment 2

Meeting Chair's Statement and Agenda Notice

Meeting Chair’s Statement

The following statement is to be read by the Chair at the commencement of each Council Meeting which is to be recorded and/or streamed live:

This meeting is being broadcast on the internet and the recording of the meeting will be published on Council’s website.

As a visitor in the public gallery, you may be filmed. By remaining in the public gallery, you consent to being filmed and for the recording of you to be made publicly available by the Council.

A copy of the Council’s Live Streaming and Recording of Council Meetings Policy is available at the back of this room and on the Council’s website. Please speak with one of our staff members if you have any questions.


Attachment 3

Agenda Notice

The following statement is to be included at the start of the agenda of any Council Meeting which is to be recorded and/or streamed live:

This meeting is being streamed live on the internet and the recording of this meeting will be published on Council’s website www.geelongaustralia.com.au after the meeting.

Members of the public attending this meeting may be filmed. By remaining in the public gallery once the meeting commences, members of the public give their consent to being filmed, and for the recording of them to be made publicly available and used by Council.

Information about the broadcasting and publishing recordings of Council meetings is available in the Council’s Live Streaming and Publishing Recordings of Council Meetings Policy is available on the Council’s website.


Attachment 4

Website Disclaimer

The opinions or statements made during the course of a Council meeting are those of the particular individuals, and not necessarily the opinions or statements of City. The City does not necessarily endorse or support the views, opinions, standards or information contained in the live streaming or recording of the Council meetings.

The City does not accept any responsibility for the comments made or information provided during Council Meetings and does not warrant nor represent that the material or statements made during Council meetings are complete, reliable or accurate. The City does not accept any responsibility or liability for any loss, damage, cost or expense that might be incurred howsoever arising as a result of or in connection with the use or reliance on information or statements made in the live streaming or published recordings of Council meetings.

Whilst Council will use its best endeavours to ensure the live streaming and Council’s website are functioning, technical issues may arise and the City cannot guarantee that the live stream will always be available, or that recordings of Council meetings will be complete.





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Page last updated: Thursday, 30 August 2018
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