Maranoa Regional Council
Maranoa Regional Council

Live streaming: the future of Maranoa Regional Council?

VENTURING boldly where no other southwestern council has gone before, the Maranoa Regional Council is testing the waters of live streaming its fortnightly meetings, as a way to be more open and transparent with its population of more than 13,000 residents.

Initially put forward in a council meeting last month, the idea to live stream meetings is currently being investigated by a local team, and one councillor is hopeful it will become a reality.

“I put forward a councillor report to see if there was support around the table from my fellow councillors as to whether we could investigate live streaming our Council meetings,” Cr Cameron O’Neil said.

“We had strong debate, and I am pleased to say a majority agreed to have a look at what infrastructure we need, and what costs would be associated.

“But the reason I raised it was that we, geographically, are a very large region – we are the size of Tasmania and have got around 13,500 residents – and not everyone can travel in for a Council meeting.

“If we can give our community greater access to Council and the decisions that Council are making, I just think that is a win for the region.”

Throughout Australia, a number of local governments already live stream their meetings, including Brisbane City, the Gold Coast, Townsville, Ipswich, and Mackay.

“City of Gold Coast was one of the first councils in Queensland to livestream its full Council meetings, with the first references made to it in 1999,” a City of Gold Coast spokeswoman said.

“The process has worked well, with livestreamed meetings dating back to 2012 available online.

“We are now working towards livestreaming Council committee meetings from 2020.”