Parkes Shire Council ready to audio record its meetings with test run tomorrow

RECORDING: Parkes Shire Council's IT project officer James Hamilton-Vaughan helped to install the new audio recording system in the Council Chambers and committee room. Photo: Christine Little
RECORDING: Parkes Shire Council's IT project officer James Hamilton-Vaughan helped to install the new audio recording system in the Council Chambers and committee room. Photo: Christine Little

Parkes Shire councillors will have their first taste of using microphones and having their words recorded during an ordinary council meeting tomorrow.

Council's November 19 meeting will see a full test run of an audio recorded discussion after council adopted the Office of Local Government's Code of Meeting Practice on June 25.

The trial will help councillors and staff become familiar with the new procedures and also test the sounding before the first official audio recorded ordinary meeting on December 17 at 2pm.

Under changes made to the Local Government Act, councils were told to make alterations to how they hold meetings with one of the requirements being the recording of meetings.

Parkes Shire Council opted to audio record its meetings - including its committee meetings - as the most cost effective approach, which a few days afterwards will be uploaded to council's website.

"We're not using cameras at this stage," General Manager Kent Boyd said at council's July 16 meeting when the timeline of the equipment installation was released.

The audio recordings will also not be done live but Mr Boyd told councillors that live recordings can take place down the track if they wished - the same applied to filming.

The supply and installation of the audio recording equipment in the Council Chambers and committee room took place in September and October.

There are 19 microphones in total and the new system is wireless and portable so it can be used at off-site meetings in the shire's villages.

Council conducted a workshop on November 5 with the new equipment.

The cost of the upgrades, which were estimated to be about $30,000, has been sourced from the Council Meeting Operations budget.

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