Increasing COVID cases and exposure sites in and around Cockburn is the catalyst for a City of Cockburn decision to move its Ordinary Council Meetings online for the next two months until further notice.
While members of the public will not be able to attend the meetings, the meetings will be available via livestream, with a video recording of each meeting available to view via the City’s website within two business days, as is the City’s normal practice.
Elected Members and City staff will also be available principally online during this period.
City of Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett said the decision was part of the City’s governance and leadership function, as it acted to safeguard the health of Elected Members and staff to ensure City services continued to operate safely and efficiently, regardless of the pandemic.
The first Ordinary Council Meeting (OCM) that members of the public will be unable to attend in person will be the first for 2022, scheduled for 7pm Thursday 10 February.
The March OCM will also be closed to the public. The ruling will also apply to any Special Council Meetings and Audit and Strategic Finance Committee meetings scheduled for the next two months.
People who are unable to access livestreaming online, will be able to watch a livestream of the meetings on a large screen at Spearwood Library, adjacent to the Council Chambers at Coleville Crescent, at 7pm sharp.
Masks will be mandatory while inside Spearwood Library and attendees will need to sign in with the SafeWA or ServiceWA apps or on the paper contact register and abide by physical distancing and room capacity limits.
Mayor Howlett said sustained local exposure sites in recent weeks, followed by COVID cases at two Cockburn schools and others in neighbouring council areas this week meant the Council needed to consider the safety of all community members, City staff and Elected Members attending the monthly council meetings.
“We have the technology to conduct our Ordinary Council meetings online, as they are already livestreamed. This is part and parcel of the City’s business continuity plan, and our community can expect the same level of service as we devise ways to work smarter albeit differently at this time,” Mayor Howlett said.
Public questions will need to be submitted to the City by 5pm Wednesday 9 February in writing or via an online form on the City’s website. These and their answers will be read out at the meetings, with questions and responses captured in the meeting minutes, as usual.
“The City’s Elected Members were briefed on the deliberations of the City’s Crisis Management Team on Thursday to discuss what arrangements would be needed to change our Ordinary Council Meetings and others from in-person to live stream only and the team began working on it immediately,” Mayor Howlett said.
For more information about how to submit a public question to a Council meeting, visit the City’s website