City of East Fremantle speaks out against proposed audio recording reform
The City of East Fremantle says the current practice of taking minutes is a “good method” of recording history and has proposed reform to make audio recordings of official meetings compulsory.
The small council is a band three local government and will be affected by local government reforms sought by Local Government Minister John Carey if they come into force.
Under the proposal, the city should record its council meetings and upload them to its website and abolish its ward system for council elections.
The City, along with the City of Fremantle, are the only councils in South Perth that do not do audio recordings or live meetings.
However, Fremantle will soon start broadcasting live from its new civic center Walyalup Koort.
Councilors considered their officers’ recommendation and comments on the proposed reforms and the WA Local Government Association’s submission at their special meeting on January 25.
They decided to support WALGA’s submission by excluding recording and live streaming of all council meetings, recording of all votes at council meetings and no quarter for small council reforms.
East Fremantle City Chief Executive Gary Tuffin told PerthNow the proposed reforms were overdue and the city generally supported most of the proposed reforms, subject to reviewing the final wording.
But Mr Tuffin said the council did not support audio recordings of council meetings and would not seek to present them before or after the reforms were finalized.
“The Board feels that its current system is working well (meeting minutes) and this proposal would impose an unnecessary expense to introduce additional audio equipment to be able to record and store digitally,” he said.
He said the council wants to keep the current voting method and wards.
“Council supports the current ward system for the following reasons: ward representation provides a point of contact for residents, having to campaign across the city may deter potential candidates and individual wards from the city represents different issues for its respective residents,” he said. noted.
“The city has a unique location and size.”
He confirmed to PerthNow that the council will continue to press the state government to keep him in quarters.
The city will also ask the state government to consider amending the Local Government Act to allow fees to be paid to independent committee members.
The Town of Canning will also provide feedback on the proposed reforms at its February 15 council meeting.
Members of the public have until February 25 to comment on the proposed reforms via the Department of Local Government, Sports and Cultural Industries website.