The City of Sydney Council once again voted down a proposal to live stream council meetings on Monday, September 15.
The meeting of council’s Corporate, Finance, Properties and Tenders Committee on September 8 resulted in the Committee recommending that council not proceed with live streaming of council meetings. The Committee cited a preliminary study that found only a small number of other councils have adopted this practice, that live streaming only attracts a small audience, that it is costly and that it leaves council open to defamation and slander.
Council officially passed the motion to reject live streaming with a majority vote. Councillors Vithoulkas, Forster and Mandla voted against the motion.
Councillor Mandla spoke against the motion, saying that live streaming was necessary to allow greater public participation in council affairs.
This was opposed by the Lord Mayor, the Deputy Lord Mayor and Councillor Jenny Green.
Cr Vithoulkas also spoke against the motion, saying she frequently receives questions from constituents about the motivations behind council decisions and proposing that live streaming would allow constituents to understand these motivations more clearly.
Councillor Linda Scott said she feels council needs to “get out of town hall”. Cr Scott moved a amendment to the motion by which council would investigate the possibility of holding council and committee meetings in various council-owned properties in the City villages, such as Redfern Community Centre and Glebe Town Hall.
Cr Scott’s amendment was also passed.
Deputy Lord Mayor Robyn Kemmis closed the discussion by saying she “has no doubt the proposed motions will address the desired objectives” raised by the live streaming debate.