Council debates hit the web

Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler admits it will be a sharp learning curve for all involved when Kiama Council starts broadcasting its meetings live on Tuesday night.

Kiama mayor Brian Petschler is preparing for Tuesday night's council meeting being broadcast to the internet for the first time.

Kiama mayor Brian Petschler is preparing for Tuesday night's council meeting being broadcast to the internet for the first time.

He said the idea of mayoral minutes being broadcast into people's homes and even onto phones was something he would never have imagined when he started in local government in 1962, when paper, nibs and bottles of ink were still central to communication.

Kiama's first broadcast takes place on Tuesday night at 5pm and Cr Petschler said the idea was to make meetings more accessible to the community.

"It will not always be exciting television," he laughed.

"Recording the meetings will enable people to gain access to an item they may be interested in after the meeting takes place so they can get an idea about what the debate was like."

While Wollongong and Shellharbour councils already webcast their meetings, Kiama Council plans to be the first in Australia to take the meetings outside the chambers, by allowing public access presentations through NBN-enabled video conferencing technology.

This stage of the project is due to begin in July.

"We are still working through a few protocols on how this will happen," Cr Petschler said.

A council spokeswoman said recordings of the council meetings, linked to the business paper agenda, would be stored and accessible to the community via the council's website kiama.nsw.gov.au within 48 hours of the meeting.

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