Council meetings could be going online

KEEPING up with the decision making of local government could be as easy as opening a smartphone app or logging into a website.

Clarence Valley Council could begin live streaming all its public meetings, beginning with tomorrow's extraordinary meeting of council.

A council spokesman said the Maclean Chamber, where the meeting will be held, has been equipped to transmit the proceedings.

At its last meeting council voted to begin a 12-month live streaming trial using the Mixlr software.

Council has hooked up the software to the chamber's audio system and conducted tests of the software to see if it can manage the job.

"The IT guys tested it and weren't able to break it, so it looks like it's ready to go," the spokesman said.

Council however has a few technicalities to consider before the broadcasts can begin.

"Because the software contains a facility for people to comment on the proceedings, we have to moderate those comments to make sure they don't break defamation laws," the spokesman said.

"And we have to consider the issue that because councillors could be reading these comments we have the situation where the public is participating in the council debate."

He said the council will have to include warnings to any delegations to the meeting that proceedings are being live streamed.

It will also need to warn the public that it is still illegal to record the broadcast as the council still has a no recording policy of its meetings.

The spokesman said the extraordinary meeting has been called to release the council's 10-year plan for the Valley.

The plan has been formulated after a phone survey and a round of community workshops in the region earlier in the year.

A link to the live stream will be included on the council website.



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