City of Sydney Councillor Edward Mandla

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The City of Sydney Council has repealed a decision to live stream council meetings to the public.

This idea of “webcasting” would involve recordings of all council meetings being posted online for the benefit of those who are unable to attend meetings in person.

The webcasting motion was proposed by Liberal Councillor Edward Mandla, who feels it is a necessary step towards achieving openness and transparency in the City of Sydney.

The motion was put to council at the last meeting (July 28), where the motion was carried five votes to four, according to Cr Mandla.

Subsequently, however, Deputy Lord Mayor Robyn Kemmis requested a rescission motion.

A rescission motion requires the vote be discarded and a second vote be conducted at the next council meeting.

With support from councillors Mant and Green, the rescission motion was carried.

“I support open, transparent and corruption-free government. City of Sydney Committee and Council meetings are open to the public, and the agenda and minutes of the meeting are available online,” said Deputy Lord Mayor Kemmis.

“The Motion passed at the last Council meeting locks the City into investing in webcasting without advice about it potential use. It also set an unrealistic timeframe for the City to begin webcasting.”

Cr Mandla is concerned the rescission motion speaks to an unwillingness to embrace transparency.

“All my work has been on promoting transparency and democracy. I’m sick of working in the dark with confidential documents and summaries.”

“They run democracy in the dark at the City of Sydney, so the last thing they would want to do is let the public see how they run their meetings.”

As a result of the rescission, the issue of webcasting will be voted on a second time at the next council meeting (August 25).