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MAV welcomes legislative changes to enable councils to meet electronically

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The Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) welcomes the passing of legislation today that enables council meetings to be conducted electronically.

The Victorian Parliament sat today to pass the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 which provides for a number of temporary legislative amendments, including changes to the Local Government Act 2020 to allow council meetings to be held online.

Cr Coral Ross, President of the MAV, said the change to allow councils to meet electronically was essential to enable councillors to fulfil their mandated role without compromising their own, their colleagues’ or the community’s health and safety.

“After more than a month of advocating to and working with the State Government, we welcome this change as a positive, common-sense decision.

“This change enables councils to meet and make decisions on important issues, including organisational, economic and community resilience and recovery from COVID-19.

“It is disappointing the State has taken a prescriptive approach in terms of the form meetings must take.

“The requirement for meetings to be live-streamed on council websites is likely to be problematic for some with internet connectivity and reliability issues occurring in parts of the state.

“We note that temporary measures adopted in other states for council meetings are less restrictive. We welcome more flexibility for special committees to have the option to choose live streaming or posting a recording to the council website after the meeting.

“Overall, we welcome this change as a positive step to help councils support their communities and continue to deliver critical services.”

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For further information, contact MAV President Cr Coral Ross on 0438 005 225 or the MAV Communications Unit on (03) 9667 5590.