- New local government provisions for council meetings to be held electronically
- Part of McGowan Labor Government's sweeping local government reform agenda
Local Government Minister John Carey has today introduced new provisions to enable Western Australian local governments to continue to conduct council meetings electronically.
The new provisions, in effect from Wednesday, 9 November will:
- enable councils to hold up to half of all council meetings by electronic means; and
- provide for council members to, with the approval of the Mayor, Shire President, or majority of the council, attend a council meeting by electronic means. There will be a cap in the number of council meetings that a councillor can attend by electronic means, which will not apply to councillors living with a disability (as defined in the Disability Services Act 1993).
Temporary provisions to enable councils to hold meetings electronically, and to enable councillors to attend via electronic means, were introduced in 2020 as part of the McGowan Government's immediate and world-leading response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While these provisions have been introduced, and provide flexibility to the sector, local governments should make every effort to hold their meetings in person.
The new regulations will be reviewed after a 12-month period. There will be a public consultation process, and members of the public will have the opportunity to provide feedback on how council meetings have operated under these regulations.
New provisions relating to livestreaming and recording of council meetings are also being progressed as part of the McGowan Government's local government reforms.
Comments attributed to Local Government Minister John Carey:
"As part of our Government's sweeping package of local government reforms, changes to the regulations for council meetings have now been implemented.
"While the new provisions have been introduced to provide flexibility, it is important councils make every effort to continue to meet in person.
"I understand for some local governments, particularly those in regional areas, electronic access can support councillors who live some distance away to participate in council decision-making.
"I'm deeply proud of the McGowan Government's world-leading response in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, as we acted swiftly not only to protect the health and wellbeing of WA, but also to ensure continuity of local governments.
"A review of the provisions will be held after 12 months and will involve a public consultation period to provide feedback on how council meetings have operated under the new regulations. I'm looking forward to hearing feedback on these new measures."
Minister's office - 6552 5300