In an effort to persuade voters to re-elect him to Western Port Ward, Bruce Kent is claiming livestreaming to be one of his achievements (Sentinel-Times, September 15).
However, the public record, as laid out below, shows that Bruce has been firmly among that group of councillors who have for years repeatedly opposed, blocked, and frustrated community calls to introduce livestreaming.
The minutes show that in June 2018 a report to council recommended the introduction of livestreaming.
However, Bruce put a motion to reject the recommendation. Fortunately, his motion was defeated by the narrowest margin of the casting vote from the chair. For a brief moment, it seemed that the community would at last receive the benefit of this important service.
But just a few weeks later in July 2018, in a determined effort to prevent the introduction of livestreaming, Bruce seconded a motion from Brett Tessari to rescind the earlier motion. Thus, livestreaming was scuttled at that time.
Later, in March 2019, my public question to council asked if Bruce and other councillors would publicly state their reasons for opposing livestreaming. The response from council was a flat no.
Then in July 2019, responding to a petition tabled by Bass Coast Ratepayers and Residents Association, Bruce again voted against the recommendation to introduce livestreaming.
And yet again, in September 2019, Bruce voted to block the introduction of live streaming.
Livestreaming is without doubt a most important service to improve openness, transparency and engagement between council and the community.
In July this year some councillors publicly acknowledged that it is this godawful pandemic that has forced livestreaming upon them.
Had it not been for the accursed COVID-19 virus, then livestreaming would likely still be nothing more than a distant hope for our community.
For Bruce Kent to attempt to claim livestreaming as his own achievement is, in my opinion, disrespectful to those community members who have for years made great efforts and representations in effort to have council introduce this very important service to the community.
Along with the other livestreaming naysayers, Bruce’s late conversion comes as recently as just three months ago and in the face of overwhelming community support for livestreaming.
That you can now watch Bruce’s conversion via the July livestream archive seems somewhat ironic.
The fact is that throughout the life of this council only two councillors, Julian Brown and Les Larke, have consistently and unwaveringly maintained support for the introduction of livestreaming.
The introduction of livestreaming is certainly not an achievement that can be claimed by Bruce Kent in his bid for re-election.
Kevin Griffin, Wonthaggi.