Many organisations had to change the way they operate due to COVID-19, and councils are no exception.
Flinders Shire Council began live streaming their council meetings to Facebook on April 22, after COVID-19 restrictions stopped residents from entering the public gallery.
Despite restrictions easing, Flinders mayor Jane McNamara admits council has adapted the way it operates and will continue to live stream council meetings to allow transparency between council and the community.
"In the last term of council there was a lot of talk about transparency and that we didn't communicate enough with the community," Cr McNamara said.
"So because of COVID-19 we had to do something to live stream the meetings so that the general public could see what we were up to and I suggested that we continue on with it because I think it is a very good way of communicating if people wish to see how we debate."
Cr McNamara said it also improved the standards of the council meetings.
"Since we started live streaming, there is more information going into our agendas and minutes," she said.
"Obviously there is some certain information that is confidential and cannot be put into your minutes. People are never going to get all the information they want but I do think that the live streaming encourages councillors to give some history on the resolutions, so that people understand how we got to what we are debating about."
Cr McNamara said anyone, anywhere, could watch the meetings.
"You don't have to be a local to know what is going on," she said.
"Our last video on the budget got 285 views. That would have been like watching paint dry, but some people find it interesting.
"I am very happy to continue on with it, because I think it's a great way to communicate with the residents and everybody."
Cr McNamara said live streaming definitely had its pros and cons.
"Sometimes I have to remind the councillors to watch what they say, because they are now being live streamed to the world," she said.
"But it did come in handy the other day because we had an issue that we needed to vote on. Because I asked each of the councillors to give their view on the topic, if residents want to know how a particular councillor does vote with those particular issues like rates and remuneration all they have to do is click on the live stream and see for themselves."
More councils in the North West are looking into live streaming their council meetings indefinitely, including Mount Isa City Council.
"I think a few more (councils) have been doing it with the restrictions of COVID-19, but it is up to each individual council to do it," Cr McNamara said.
"The way we have it set up at the moment is not ideal but it is sufficient to understand what is happening."
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