Dubbo Regional Council moves to live stream meetings

Dubbo Regional Council general manager Mark Riley and mayor Ben Shields. Photo: JENNIFER HOAR
Dubbo Regional Council general manager Mark Riley and mayor Ben Shields. Photo: JENNIFER HOAR

Dubbo mayor Ben Shields will push for the live streaming of council meetings to ensure everyone can watch them even if they can’t make it to the chambers.

At an extraordinary meeting on Monday night councillors passed a recommendation by council staff to hold two meetings a year at Wellington.

The size of Dubbo Regional Council and timing of meetings will make it difficult for people to be able to attend every meeting.

Cr Shields said it was only fair that some meetings were taken to Wellington but said he planned to ensure everybody could watch the meetings, regardless of where they were.

“I am preparing to table a mayoral minute about the web streaming of council meetings. There’s two reasons for pursuing it,” he said.

“One is for geographical reasons. If people from Wellington can’t get to a meeting in Dubbo, or someone in Dubbo can’t get to Wellington when the meetings are there, they can watch them via the stream.

“The other is for transparency. The more people who are watching what goes on at meetings, the better.”

Two of Cr Shields’ team, Cr Dayne Gumley and candidate Jacob Perry, campaigned for live streaming during the election.

Dubbo Regional Council’s Code of Meeting Practice currently states that audio recordings of the proceeds of a meeting are subject to the person advising the meeting of their intent to record.

Standard practice for video recordings are that they are requested to the mayor, administrator or general manager. 

Cr Gumley said there should be no issues with legality because other councils had already begun to stream their meetings.

Mudgee’s Mid Western Regional Council live streams video and audio of their council and special council meetings. Orange City Council has also announced it will stream all meetings.

Monday’s meeting was also used to determine which councillors would sit on council’s committees, working parties and other groups. Only three standing committees remain to be determined.

The Planning, Development and Environment committee, the Infrastructure, Community and Recreation committee and the Economic Development, Business and Corporate committee will be determined at the first meeting on Monday, October 16.