Yarra Mayor welcomes common sense approach to Council meetings

Friday 24 April 2020

Richmond Town Hall at night

Councils can now conduct virtual meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic under a change to the Local Government Act made yesterday during a special sitting of State Parliament. Yarra City Council welcomes this as a common sense approach.

Yarra City Council Mayor, Cr Misha Coleman, said virtual council meetings will ensure local democracy can continue to operate throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

"These arrangements are a common sense approach to dealing with strict physical distancing requirements. It will allow us to continue to meet and respond to local issues in a fair, safe and transparent way - and importantly, we’ll be able to ensure ratepayer’s involvement in these virtual meetings too," Cr Coleman said.

"Councils have been arguing strongly for these measures, and I want to thank the Minister for Local Government for working with the local government sector to put these new arrangements in place."

"I still have serious concerns though about the proposed changes from multi-member to single-member wards. These changes will result in less female councillors being elected, and less democracy overall."

Cr Coleman said Yarra City Council will be making a further announcement on ways in which community members can participate in the virtual council meetings, in the coming week.

"We are working to implement these new arrangements ahead of our upcoming meetings in May, where we’ll introduce a new virtual public question time."

Participating in Council meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic

In order to ensure the health and safety of Councillors, staff and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the public are not able to attend council meetings in person. Instead, our community is encouraged to live stream the proceedings online.

This is in accordance with advice provided by the State Government. 

Yarra's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Hub

Please visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) information hub to find out more about how Yarra is supporting residents and businesses during this time.


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