The April Ordinary Council Meeting made history when Councillors and senior staff met via video link.
Streaming live to Facebook, the monthly meeting was conducted online to ensure the community could continue to watch the proceedings of Council while also adhering to the Government’s COVID-19 social distancing measures.
“This is a very historic meeting”, said Parkes Shire Mayor, Cr Ken Keith OAM.
“It’s the first time in 137 years of local government in Parkes, that a meeting is being legally conducted without Councillors having to be personally present and is also the first time that the meeting will be live streamed to the community.”
During the virtual meeting, Councillors heard from Council’s General Manager, Kent Boyd about the organisation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic at a local level, and the measures being implemented to support affected residents and business owners and operators.
Councillors endorsed a recommendation to introduce a number of initiatives to support local business, including waiving of landing fees for REX airlines for a six month period; the modification of the Rat- ing Hardship Policy to cater for those experiencing hardship in paying council rates; an increase in the local business pricing evaluation advantage Local Purchasing Policy from 5% to 10%; Council’s Tourism partnership program to be reviewed for the next financial year; and discounted fees for a range of development services such as outdoor dining, food inspection, and development applications to assist affected businesses in re-establishing their operations.
The Draft Parkes Shire Local Strategic Planning Statement (LSPS) was also tabled, which identifies Council’s 20-year vision for land use planning in the Parkes Shire.
Having been endorsed by Councillors, the draft statement will go on public exhibition for 28 days for comment.
The video and audio recording of the April Council meeting is available on Council’s website, along with the meeting minutes – www.parkes.nsw.gov.au.