NORTHERN Grampians Shire Council meetings will be available online, live, from September 7.
A webinar over Zoom will be streamed directly onto Council's YouTube channel.
The move to an online portal enables councillors to ensure themselves, council staff, and the wider community are protected from the potential spread of COVID-19 by avoiding a physically gathering in one place.
Residents can submit questions with notice to council meetings and the only change to the current practice is that questioners will be provided with a Zoom invitation to attend the webinar to ask their question in real time.
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Questions without notice are still on hold due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
A video recording of each meeting will be made available on both council's YouTube channel and website as the feature will continue indefinitely.
Northern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Murray Emerson said he and other members of the council were excited to be adopting new ways of conducting council business.
"I won't say it's been an easy road figuring out how to adapt to this new normal but my fellow councillors and I are really looking forward to trying out this technology," he said.
"It's going to be fantastic for our community to be able to tune in to our meetings no matter where they are."
Northern Grampians Shire Council chief executive Liana Thompson said ensuring everyone could access the council meetings was part of her action plan of improvement for the organisation.
"Council was heavily criticised in the recent community satisfaction survey for community engagement and streaming our meetings online will provide increased transparency and accessibility to council decision making," she said.
"This is about more than protecting the community, it's also about making sure our residents and ratepayers are included as an integral part of the council process."
Council was successful in receiving a grant from the Rural Councils ICT Infrastructure Program to stream council meetings online.
To view the upcoming council meeting livestream on September 7 2020, visit www.ngshire.vic.gov.au/council-meetings and follow the prompts or tune in via council's YouTube channel five minutes before the scheduled meeting start time of 12.30pm.
Questions can be submitted via www.ngshire.vic.gov.au/council-meetings and fill out the Questions With Notice online form.
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