Mayor Cr Michael Whelan and the shire’s CEO Ali Wastie at last week’s ‘hybrid’ meeting. ns041222

By Nick Sinis

BASS Coast Shire councillors were pleased to mark the return of in-person meetings at Wonthaggi’s Civic Centre Council Chamber last week.

This was the first time councillors were able to gather at the chamber since being elected, after COVID-19 measures saw virtual meetings in place since the pandemic began.

However, the session was conducted in a ‘hybrid’ mode, with two councillors attending virtually still.

Nonetheless, the mood was positive in the chamber room, but the dreaded “you’re on mute” continued to pop up every now and then.

Mayor Cr Michael Whelan noted on the day that it was fantastic to be back in-person, but there were still many “technical” difficulties in managing the hybrid mode.

Oddly enough, there was only one member of the public in the gallery, which coincidently, was this journalist covering the meeting.

Council did offer limited seating for members of the public to attend, and was expecting at least several, but none showed up on the day.

The hybrid mode is expected to be in place for the coming months.