Unfortunately, Bass Coast Shire Council continues its opposition to the introduction of live streaming.
Live streaming would be a positive step towards greater transparency and community engagement in civic processes.
It is recognised by the Victorian Ombudsman and at least 20 Victorian Councils to be an important service for the community.
But despite having voted in favour of a live streaming trial in June 2018, just weeks later five Councillors voted to rescind the decision, thereby scuttling plans to introduce live streaming.
If discussions which take place during Council meetings were publicly available, and ratepayers could see and hear the reasons behind a particular voting choice, then there would be a greater understanding than at present when nothing of the discussions is recorded in the minutes apart from the final outcome.
And even this is very secretive as Councillor votes are not recorded in the minutes unless a division is called.
In response to a question in March this year, the minutes show that the five Councillors refuse to publish their reasons for opposing live streaming, and the April minutes confirm that the five Councillors are not intending to reintroduce a motion in support of this important transparency measure at this time.
BCRRA applauds the four Councillors who voted in favour of live streaming and encourages them to continue their efforts in this regard.
And despite the unwillingness of the current Council to embrace live streaming, Bass Coast Ratepayers and Residents Association will continue to advocate for its introduction.
Kevin Griffin, Bass Coast Ratepayers and Residents Association President.