Allow zoom to continue

COUNCILLORS will continue to have the option to ’zoom’ into meetings remotely until at least the end of December.

Temporary amendments to the regulation requiring in-person attendance and letting councillors attend council meetings using audio-visual technology were put in place last year because of Covid-19 restrictions and formally extended last week.
However a move by Councillor George Campbell, and supported by his five Labor colleagues, to make three minor amendments to the draft procedures were rejected.
Under the procedures, councillors are required to notify staff by 12pm on the day of the meeting of their intention to dial in remotely, however Cr Campbell argued that as the technology was already in place just one hour’s notice should be enough.
“Hopefully people will give as much notice as possible, but what if an emergency turns up in the afternoon,” he said.
Also arguing that an hour’s notice was more practical in an emergency, Cr Lake said the audio-visual dialling-in option was “useful and important so that people don’t find themselves in situation where they’re unable to participate”.
Cr Campbell also said a clause stating that there was “no obligation to permit a councillor to attend a meeting remotely by audio-visual link where the technical capacity does not exist to allow the councillor to attend a meeting by those means” was redundant.
“The technical capacity for the audio-visual link already exists,” he said.
A third clause relating to councillors providing information about why they wanted to attend remotely was also unnecessary, he said, because the same detail was already included twice elsewhere in the document.
However their arguments failed to sway the majority who voted to accept the original draft with no amendments.