Cr Sheryl Windle at a Southern Downs Regional Council meeting in Warwick in 2019.
Cr Sheryl Windle at a Southern Downs Regional Council meeting in Warwick in 2019. Marian Faa

Labor official calls on SDRC to live stream council meetings

A LABOR party official has called on the Southern Downs Regional Council to bolster opportunities for community engagement by broadcasting council meetings on live video via the internet.

Southern Downs Labor representative Joel Richters said the community was missing out on opportunities to see how hard the council was working, and connecting with local government using new technologies.

"I have long suggested that councils should be broadcasting their meetings so that members of the public can be informed," MrRichters said.

"The response to my query is almost like clockwork: that members of the public are not that interested and no one wants it."

Mr Richters said a lack of communication was breaking down trust between the community and local politicians.

"A simple remedy to this would be to broadcast council meetings or allow people to view the footage after a meeting to see exactly how hard council works for the community," he said.

"At the same time, when community members feel aggrieved, there is no misrepresentation to be made.

"People can easily go back and view exactly what was said and by who."

Warwick resident Tim Scheele said there was a broad lack of engagement with council meetings in Warwick, but didn't believe that live recordings would help the issue.

"I think if people did go along to meetings they might have more faith and actually see what they are doing first-hand," he said.

"We do have a lot of keyboard warriors in this town but they can bad-mouth the council and get their facts totally wrong. If they go to meetings it means they can get the right answers to the questions and concerns they have."

Mr Richters said a move to live recording would follow the lead of federal and state governments.

"Working class people who have no opportunity to be in the gallery of council meetings are being left in the dark, and it is time that this changed," he said.