Kangaroo Island Council adopts electronic meeting procedures

The Kangaroo Island Council voted to amend its code of practice to allow for electronic meetings to comply with coronavirus distancing.

The council met on Thursday morning, April 2 using the Zoom platform holding an informal gathering first and then formally voting 7-1 to approve the new meeting standards.

Councillor Rosalie Chirgwin voted against electronic meetings because they were "dehumanising, ill-considered and a knee-jerk reaction".

Councillor Graham Walkom put up a second motion that council seek written legal advice about the legality of live or audio streaming by the media or by the member of the public.

Prior to voting, the council had some debate on its obligations to record or live-streaming the meeting.

The Islander offered to live stream the electronic meetings as it does with normal meetings, but mayor Michael Pengilly said individual councillors should be able to object to live streaming.

Council took legal advice and it was decided to allow The Islander to be part of the Zoom meeting to observe the council meetings but not to live stream.

Council CEO Greg Georgopoulos said the council was able to record the Zoom meetings and then make that link available through the website.

If the council did not record or live-stream the meeting, it needs to place a statement on the website stating it had tried all available means of doing so.

The councillors agreed that they would be rather sitting together in the room, but they had to do what they could to keep meeting in the face of the virus pandemic.