Ordinary and Special Council Meetings online due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and legislative changes to the Local Government Act 2020, Council has agreed to temporarily hold Ordinary and Special Council Meetings online.
At the Ordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday 12 May, Council unanimously endorsed the 2020 Virtual Meeting Policy. The first virtual meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 9 June at 7pm.
The Local Government Act 1989 was amended on 25 March 2020, with the introduction of the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 to allow councils to meet remotely to reduce the Coronavirus risk. The amendment allows Council meetings to meet electronically and a livestreamed webcast will be made available.
The change to legislation and Council’s endorsement of the 2020 Virtual Meeting Policy ensures the safe continuation of local government decision-making for both Councillors and the community.
While meeting remotely is a temporary way of governing, live streaming meetings is an accessible way of enabling people to be part of the democratic process from the comfort of their homes.
Holding meetings online compliments Council’s existing approach to transparency of the Council process. Live streaming via Council’s website of Ordinary Council Meetings first started in October 2018, following podcasts of meetings being available via Council’s website.
Hobsons Bay residents are encouraged to view the live stream of Council’s meetings at webcast.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/
Members of the public can still submit questions via an online form or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions must be submitted by 12pm on the day of the Ordinary Meeting.
While the virtual Council Meeting process is in place, questions from the public will be limited to 20 minutes at the commencement of the meeting or restricted to 10 questions.
As with meetings in the chamber, the Mayor will read out the question(s) submitted by community members and provide a verbal response during the virtual meeting. All questions will also receive a written response after the meeting.
A full recording will also be made available on our website after the meeting.
A comprehensive list of frequently asked questions about technical requirements, including data and internet speed, is available on Council’s website: webcast.hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au/help.php