The first live-streamed ordinary council meeting is due to take place tomorrow (May 15), as the City of Ballarat joins an increasing number of local authorities to broadcast meetings.
Councils have come under pressure to broadcast meetings following a December 2016 report by the Victorian Ombudsman into the transparency of local governments.
It recommended that councils should broadcast council meetings to increase accessibility.
The Ballarat live-stream cost $16,000 to set up with $1,200 a month after that. More than a third of councils in Victoria have now adopted live-streaming or broadcasting.
The original motion to broadcast meetings in Ballarat was made a year ago by Councillor Belinda Coates. Her motion was defeated but an alternative was put forward by Councillor Ben Taylor requesting an officer report into the costs of live-streaming.
Councillors considered that report in September last year, and live broadcasting in principle was agreed.
Ordinary council meetings for the City of Bendigo council have been broadcast on Phoenix FM, a local community radio station, since 2011. Bendigo council also allows the Bendigo Advertiser to broadcast meetings live on Facebook.
The City of Greater Geelong Council started to broadcast its council meetings last July, with recordings uploaded within five days and available to be watched indefinitely.
In Ballarat, only the city's nine councillors, including Mayor Samantha McIntosh, and council employees such as the City of Ballarat CEO Justine Linley and Cameron Montgomery, the council's executive manager of safety, risk and compliance, will be visible on camera. The public gallery will not be in view but anyone asking a public question could be filmed.
A council spokesperson said the broadcast would be accessible from the following link:
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