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Room or Zoom? Proposed format flexibility for Council meetings

Thursday 28 July 2022

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We’re proposing to change our Governance Rules to enable some Council meetings to be held electronically in the future.

This change comes because of new provisions in the Local Government Act 2020 relating to electronic Council meetings.

Until recently, most Council meetings over the past two years have been successfully held electronically in response to pandemic restrictions and guidance. However, community members were unable to speak at these electronic Council meetings and provided written statements instead.

Under the proposed new Rules, community members can participate and be heard in Council meetings in the same way as Councillors.

This means that if the meeting is held in the Council Chamber, registered speakers would need to attend the meeting in person to be heard. Alternatively, if the meeting is being held electronically, registered speakers would be heard by joining the online meeting. Written statements still remain an option regardless of the meeting format. 

Other proposed minor changes include removing the requirement for a person to attend a Council meeting to have their public question read out and answered; and recording which Councillors voted ‘for’ or ‘against’.

Overview of changes proposed:

  • provision to conduct some Council meetings electronically
  • removing a requirement for a person to attend a Council meeting to have their public question read out and answered
  • recording which Councillors voted ‘for’ or ‘against’ each agenda item in the meeting minutes.
  • removing gendered language.

Find out more about the proposed changes and have your say before consultation closes on 10 August 2022. 

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