AMIDST transparency concerns, a Bassendean councillor promised 70 ratepayers he would ensure audio recordings of council meetings remain available at a special meeting of electors on March 13.
Councillor Gerry Pule said council was undertaking workshops to review and develop a new communication policy after a motion was passed at last month’s council meeting.
“We have tried our best to be transparent,” he said.
“I will give a personal commitment…when the policy is up to vote, I will ensure that audio recordings will be made available to the public.”
In December, the Town’s officers suggested an amendment to the Town’s leadership and governance policy, which included potentially making electronic recordings unavailable to the public.
At the special meeting of electors, Bassendean resident and former Greens candidate Sarah Quinton raised the matter to staff and councillors.
“A quick call around to 10 other Perth councils on Monday has revealed that six councils provide a copy of audio on request for a fee and Joondalup council stream their meeting live online,” Ms Quinton said.
“This attempt to change the policy is counterproductive as audio recordings of council meetings facilitate greater transparency.
“Bassendean council would be taking a step backwards if this proposal were approved, whereas most other councils are moving towards full transparency for their ratepayers.”
Ms Quinton moved a motion for meetings to continue to be recorded and unmodified, retained in the Town’s records for at least five years and copies made available at the library and on request.
Also part of the motion was for all meetings to be streamed live and uploaded to the Town’s website within three business days.
Bassendean resident and former mayor Tina Klein said she supported the motion.
“Voice recordings are needed especially with the growing mistrust with what actually happens or said,” she said.
“The chief executive’s recommendation to close public access should be looked at.
“There needs to be a major review of the chief executive’s key performance indicators.”
Acting chief executive Michael Costarella said it was his decision to review whether recordings were accurate and he believed they were designated for the minute clerk’s use.