AGAINST IT: Cr Paul Amos was against audio trials.
AGAINST IT: Cr Paul Amos was against audio trials. Trevor Veale

Council votes to trial audio streaming of their meetings

COFFS Harbour City Harbour councillors voted to proceed with a trial of audio streaming future council meetings with the intention to switch to video.

All councillors present at last Thursday's council meeting apart from Paul Amos voted for the trial of audio recordings for up to 12 months to warrant the possibility of filming future meetings.

Councillors Jan Strom and Keith Rhoades were absent.

Cr Amos said he wanted to speak against the motion of trialling audio because it lost other means of communication, particularly body language.

"The head shaking and the eye rolling all go into communication," he said.

"Audio is only half of communication."

Cr Amos said audio recordings of council meetings would not be very appealing and believed video recordings would draw in a greater number of viewers.

Councillor Tegan Swan said costs of immersing straight into video recording meetings was a concern but suggested broadcasting technology, such as Facebook Live, could be implemented.

Acting Coffs Harbour City Council general manager Andrew Beswick said the quality of free-to-use video broadcasting technology was questionable and would have to be further studied.

Mr Beswick said the trial of audio recording did not necessarily have to run for the full 12 months.

Cr Sally Townley questioned the need to need to trial both audio and video recordings, but she said audio recordings was worthwhile means of record keeping.

The motion to proceed to a trial of audio streaming for a period of 12 months and a more detailed investigation of video recording, including in-house or partial in-house systems, and the use of social media platforms was passed by Mayor Denise Knight and councillors Michael Adendorff, George Cecato, Tegan Swan and Sally Townley.



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