Editorial: When a 21st century council just clicks

Would you be more inclined to tune in to a council meeting if it were streamed on the internet?

What if you could play it back a couple of days after, or skip to a certain debate you’re interested in? 

There is no doubt people are interested in what happens at their local council meetings.

The discussions held and decisions made in those hallowed chambers can affect us all.

But in between home and work commitments, it’s almost impossible for many to get to the meetings.

There is also no doubt Post readers appreciate the times and places we have livestreamed events they could not otherwise have seen or attended.

So we say “well done” to Goulburn Mulwaree for being among the few NSW councils to broadcast their meetings via webcast.

Elsewhere in the Southern Tablelands, Yass Valley is still considering its options six months after the idea was raised in a council meeting; and Upper Lachlan is also yet to pursue the thought.

Goulburn Mulwaree’s fortnightly webcast, not unlike the offerings of Queanbeyan-Palerang, is especially useful to those in the region’s far-flung reaches.

For viewers who still struggle with the meetings’ timing, or – just as likely – internet connectivity, the video can be seen on demand, post-meeting.

These public meetings can still move into a closed chamber, as and when needed, by switching off the broadcast in order to cover any legal concerns.

Do some ‘play’ to the camera? Possibly, but not likely any more than they already play to the chamber.

We have also heard a whisper that one councillor likes to drop in movie quotes when addressing the chamber.

A special little something for those playing along at home, you might say.

Livestreaming is a relatively low-cost solution for both real time and playback access to the meeting.

Local government transparency through clear communication is fundamental to democracy, as well as good governance in a publicly funded organisation.

Our community likes to know it is being heard; but the council would also like to know you are listening.