Like many businesses across our Shire, nation and indeed the world, Council is currently experiencing significant disruptions to normal operations as a result of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
On Wednesday 25 March 2020 the Office of Local Government (OLG) issued advice to all Councils across the State that will also have implications for us.
Central to this advice was the news that this year’s Local Government Elections will now be postponed until 2021. The OLG has advised that all Local Government Elections are to be held at a time to be determined by the Minister for Local Government which is likely to be sometime between late March 2021 and 31 December 2021.
Following the postponement of this year’s election until next year, we’ll then revert to the normal schedule and the following Local Government Elections will be held in September 2024.
Another memorandum issued by the OLG detailed changes and restrictions on essential and public gatherings.
Council Meetings are considered essential gatherings and as such we’re obliged to meet the current indoor spacing restrictions.
At its meeting on 25 March 2020, Council resolved to cancel upcoming Ordinary Meetings scheduled for 8 and 22 April while it awaited legislative changes to allow for future meetings to be conducted via audio-visual links. This legislation has now been passed and Council is taking the necessary steps, subject to further guidelines being issued, to enable meetings to resume electronically in May 2020. In addition, we’re also investigating what level of public participation that can be accommodated.
Council is committed to ensuring that members of the public can continue to view meetings via live streaming.
These are without doubt extraordinary and challenging times. It’s now more important than ever that we continue to look after each other. Stay safe and look after yourselves and your family.