Council’s March Ordinary Meeting has been cancelled, while revised meeting processes are being investigated to protect councillors, staff and members of the public during the current COVID-19 crisis.
The March meeting was scheduled to be held this Wednesday but, in line with general health and safety guidelines for NSW local government meetings, has been cancelled in response to the global Coronavirus outbreak.
“Like many other councils, we are monitoring the situation closely to help make decisions about future meetings, guided by State and Federal Government,” Armidale Regional Council Mayor Simon Murray said.
“At the moment, Council meetings musts be conducted face to face and, for all but specific types of issues, must be open to the public for resolutions to be binding.
“While there are yet to be any officially reported cases of Coronavirus in the Armidale region, we are very conscious that people with COVID-19 can be contagious before they start to feel any of the symptoms.”
Cr Murray said the health and welfare of councillors, Council staff and the community must be the top priority and a number of local governments had make the decision to put their meetings on hold.
“This is in line with the cancellation or postponement of many events to avoid any potential spread of coronavirus,” he said.
“The Local Government Act allows for a meeting to be cancelled or postponed because of natural disaster or if it could pose a danger or health risk to council representatives or members of the public.”
Cr Murray said while the issue of meeting procedure is addressed, Council services to the community and other day-to-day activities are continuing wherever possible.
“Roadworks are ongoing, kerbside waste collections occur at the usual times, we’re continuing to manage town water supplies and the water restrictions, applications are being processed and the management of projects remains on track,” he said.
“While our customer service areas have been closed to face-to-face transactions, to protect the health and welfare of our staff and the community, our online and phone services ensure we remain open for business.”
Published on 23 Mar 2020