Live stream closes the gap

TRANSPARENCY: Councillor Dayne Gumley and Dubbo Regional Council  mayor, Ben Shields, check out the streaming facility in Dubbo Council chambers. Photo: CONTRIBUTED
TRANSPARENCY: Councillor Dayne Gumley and Dubbo Regional Council mayor, Ben Shields, check out the streaming facility in Dubbo Council chambers. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Live streaming of council meetings will begin next week in a move Councillor David Grant believes displays transparency and accountability within Dubbo Regional Council.

As of Monday, February 19 anyone with an interest in the business of council can watch the meeting from the comfort of their own home.

The first meeting to be streamed will be the Council Committee Meetings, commencing at 5.30pm on Monday.

Dubbo Regional Council mayor, Ben Shields, said that this is yet another example of council delivering promises to the community.

“Starting with the Planning, Development and Environment Committee, which will be followed by the Infrastructure and Community and Recreation Committee and will finish with the Economic Development, Business and Corporate Committee,” he said.

“The benefits of livestreaming meetings were brought to our attention by Cr Gumley, and council were unanimous in supporting this idea.

“It enables a larger cross-section of the community to watch meetings and deliberations of Council take place, which further enhances transparency.

“It also means that for those people who do attend meetings, you are consenting to the possibility that your image may also be webcast to the public.

Cr David Grant of the Wellington Ward said the move will be particularly beneficial to the Wellington community.

“It certainly gives people in Wellington the opportunity to see what’s happening as most meetings will be in Dubbo with the odd meeting in Wellington,” he said.

“It will give people in Wellington that opportunity to feel a part of the whole process and makes council a bit more accountable – people can see and hear what’s being said in a meeting.

“I certainly think it’s good for the people of Wellington to see what’s happening and feel they can be a part of it without having to make the 40 minute drive up to Dubbo to sit in a meeting and hear one thing that may be of interest.”

He encourages residents in Wellington to utilise the opportunity which in turn will give them a better insight into council proceedings.

“It will be good in the sense of people being able to understand what’s happening in council, why and how decisions are being made and will give them a better insight into the runnings of council,” Cr Grant said.

“It gives the community an understanding of how we come to decisions and the debate that can go into some of the more contentious issues.

“It allows for transparency and accountability – we’re being watched so we need to make sure we’re being proactive in council and include the community in the whole process.”

Cr Dayne Gumley is equally pleased with the outcome. 

“I had two objectives by moving this policy at council,” he said.

“Firstly transparency for residents. It is important for residents to be able to see their elected representatives making decisions and the reasons for doing so. 

“And secondly with a greatly enlarged council area, live streaming makes it easier for people who live long distances away from the council chamber to be able to see the meetings as if they were physically present.”

If you wish to livestream Council Meetings, visit dubbo.nsw.gov.au and follow the links on the homepage.

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