One person turns up to budget

One person turns up to budget

96

The City of Canning has officially recommenced in-person meetings, however it appeared this news failed to reach an audience with just one ratepayer attending the handing down of the city’s 2022/23 budget.

The City of Canning made the shift to online-only meetings in March, starting with the agenda briefing on Tuesday March 8, live-streaming from the meeting, conducted over Zoom, to the Canning Governance YouTube page.

At the time, Mayor Patrick Hall said the move acted as a precautionary measure allowing council meetings to continue safely during the pandemic.

The online meetings proved popular, with the average views of the four council meetings a touch over 202, while the average viewership for the same number of agenda forums was just under 109.

The city’s website stated the decision to return to in-person council meetings will be made in accordance with State Government health advice.

The city has now transitioned back to in-person meetings, with Mr Hall saying the decision was made in accordance with the Local Government (Administration) Regulations and as a result of the easing of restrictions for public gathering and events by the State Government.

The State Government eased restrictions over two months ago, on April 29.

Mr Hall said the reason the city resumed public meetings two months after restrictions were eased was due to the significant increase of COVID cases in the community.

“The city was cautious in its decision to return to in person meetings which was more than reasonable under the circumstances,” he said.

“In addition, following the easing of restrictions in April there was some planning involved for resuming council meetings in a more hybrid model that allowed for council members to attend remotely due to COVID-19 infection or isolation requirements.”

While the special council meeting was advertised as an in-person meeting on June 15 on the city’s website and advertised through the city’s social media channels multiple times between June 15 and July 5, only one ratepayer attended the meeting.

In neighbouring City of Gosnells, meetings have remained open to the public for the entirety of the pandemic.