GREG'S LEGACY

Specialising in the human experience of Living with prostate cancer – warts and all

Transparency in local government

with 2 comments


Wodonga resident wants council meetings filmed

Posted ABC Online Thu Dec 18, 2008 9:35am AEDT

A Wodonga resident has accused the council of restricting public access to what is said in council meetings.

Unsuccessful council candidate Kieran Bennett wants to film the meetings, and post the video on the internet.

The council has refused his request, saying it is inappropriate and audio recording of meetings is against its local law.

But Mr Bennett says all residents have a right to know what happens in the meetings.

“They are actively restricting the public’s access to what’s being said,” he said.

“Wodonga council doesn’t even record the meetings for their own purposes, they don’t even have a microphone system installed if they were to decide we wanted to record what’s going on.

“That’s why as a member of the public I said, ‘well it won’t cost you anything, I have all the equipment’.”

COMMENT:

It is good to see the younger generation getting involved with local government.  However, it is not so good to see our elected representatives denying us alternative access to their public meetings.

We should all get behind this young man and help him fight for our democratic rights at the local government level.  He has the tenacity to follow it through and, with a bit of support, will make it happen.

Kieran wants to provide Internet access to a streaming video of ordinary council meetings.  Whilst there is nothing to prevent him filming the meeting, a local by-law prevents him from recording the sound.  In this day of social networking, what could be more democratic than the council publishing their public meetings online.

You should read this Blog on the procedures the council goes to let ratepayers ask a question of council.  It is a draconian attempt to keep the electorate at arms length.

Through his Blog The Border Journal BLOG, Kieran is determined to bring some democracy back into the ‘democratically elected bureaucracy’ that is Wodonga Council.  He is offering sound ideas and has the tenacity to make it happen – but he needs your help. You can subsribe to his posts by clicking this link.

Go to his site and read his posts on the Wodonga Council and, I am sure, you will become a supporter of Kieran’s ideals – not only for the sake of Wodonga but also for the sake of local government throughout Victoria.  Go Kieran!

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Written by Greg Naylor

20 December 2008 at 12:21 pm

Posted in social comment

2 Responses

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  1. Thanks for the write up Greg. I hadn’t noticed the article on ABC Goulburn Murray, that’s going in my scrap book 🙂

    Look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, all the best, Kieran.

    Kieran

    21 December 2008 at 12:18 am

  2. Well said, Greg. Kieran’s going to break down those barriers, I think.

    What’s on Wednesday?

    Ray Dixon (Bright)

    21 December 2008 at 9:32 pm


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