A PLAN to record Perth council committee meetings and make them publicly available has been shot down by lord mayor Lisa Scaffidi and her allies.
Council meetings are uploaded, but anyone wanting to hear what happens at the committee meetings, held around 4pm, has to attend in person.
Cr Jemma Green said that in line with the city’s push for more transparency they should put committee meetings online.
She says the afternoon kick-off is inconvenient for people at work and useless for those overseas or who have a disability.
“This way we can offer more universal access,” she said, adding that council CEO Martin Mileham advised there’d be no extra cost because they already had the equipment set up and it would take staff minutes to upload the recordings.
Councillors James Limnios and Reece Harley agreed.
“Committees are where the interesting debate happens and where the ideas are really fleshed out,” Cr Harley said.
Mrs Scaffidi has frequently told the public gallery that council meetings have so little debate because councillors have already held detailed discussions at the specialised committee meetings.
But Mrs Scaffidi, Keith Yong, Lily Chen and Judy McEvoy don’t want those meetings recorded.
Cr McEvoy said “I’m not in favour of this, it’s not because of transparency or anything like that, I think we’ve become over-transparent … anybody that wants to come along to these meetings can come along.”
Mrs Scaffidi said “I am tired of hearing this constant talk of transparency, as if the suggestion is that we’re not. The meetings are open to the public.The fact is we do need some opportunity to have some discussion with the people who are making representations, and for them to feel very comfortable that at that committee level they are able to freely discuss everything they need to.”
by DAVID BELL