Colac Otway Shire Council hopes to test its live streaming and advanced teleconferencing capabilities for the first time at Wednesday’s Planning Committee Meeting to enable submitters to speak to their submissions from home.
Councillors will be asked to consider a motion at the start of the meeting which would allow the planning meeting to proceed with these new measures in place, in response to the COVID-19 situation.
Council’s Chief Executive Peter Brown said under the current Local Government Act, Councillors were required to attend meetings in person and a quorum was required for a meeting to go ahead.
“Council has three items on tomorrow’s Planning Committee Meeting agenda and there are applicants and objectors who have made submissions and indicated they want to make a verbal submission,” Mr Brown said.
“The meeting will go ahead as scheduled but only people whose items are under consideration should attend. The general public should stay home at this time.
“Council is permitted to continue its operations including decision making, under COVID-19 restrictions, and Councillors, applicants and objectors can attend as they are conducting business, provided everyone meets physical distancing requirements.
“We can accommodate Councillors and necessary staff in the Council Chamber, and would be able to have submitters speak while maintaining four-square-metre distancing,” he said.
“However, some submitters have indicated they are uncomfortable attending in person and would prefer to phone in and we are working to make that happen.”
Should Colac Otway Shire Council be able to provide the live stream option, interested parties should go to the Minutes and Agendas page on Council’s website page to access the link Council’s YouTube channel.
As per our usual practice, the audio recording of the meeting will be available on Council’s website as soon as practicable after the meeting.