Return of the Public Gallery at Coffs Council meetings

Local residents will be able to watch the April 22 Coffs Harbour City Council meeting in person in the Coffs Harbour City Council Chambers, following the return of the public gallery to meetings. Photo: Emma Darbin.

 

MEMBERS of the public will once again be able to attend Coffs Harbour City Council meetings in person, following Council’s ordinary meeting on Thursday 25 March.

From March 26, NSW local councils will once again be required under the Local Government Act to permit members of the public to attend meetings in person, subject to current Public Health Orders and social distancing requirements.

As of 12 February, the number of persons permitted to attend council and committee meetings in addition to councillors and staff under the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2021 increased.

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Up to 25 people may now attend meetings.

Councils can permit more than 25 people to attend meetings, provided the size of the meeting venue is sufficient to ensure there is at least two square metres of space for each person at the meeting venue.

Councillors and council staff are not counted when calculating the space available for each person at the meeting venue, and the number of people who are attending the meeting.

“If current health order restrictions are still in place, tickets will be issued via Eventbrite; these will be single tickets only and on a first booked, first obtained basis,” a Council spokesperson stated.

Council must continue to ensure appropriate social distancing is practiced at meetings.

Due to the pandemic and NSW Government public health restrictions, the last public gallery was held on 26 March 2020.

Coffs Harbour City Council’s ordinary meetings will continue to be livestreamed fortnightly via the Vimeo video streaming platform, to allow members of the public to watch the proceedings from home.

 

By Emma DARBIN

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