OUR SAY: Nothing ordinary about the reality show in Byng Street

THERE’S a new reality show that has hit our screens this week. There will be drama, discord and high-stakes decisions, all played out in real time.

It has nothing to do with romance, being in an African jungle or sitting around a table criticising other people’s cooking.

It’s Orange City Council’s livestreaming ordinary meetings.

We’re definitely not overplaying it, this will be interesting stuff.

Yes, some might think the adjective “ordinary” is quite apt when it comes to describing the action in the chambers, but they would be wrong.

Attending, or at least viewing, a council meeting gives you a unique insight into the inner workings of our council.

It also gives you a chance to see how your elected local politicians perform when they’re at work.

Of course in the past on several occasions the Central Western Daily has live streamed the proceedings and our feedback on the end result has been very good.

Before you change the channel and say council’s decisions are humdrum and, perhaps, ordinary, we know local government motions can get readers riled and rancorous in a way no other decision can.

You don’t have to look very far for evidence.

Council debate and public addresses on issues such as the Byng Street development, proposed plans for upgrades to the Byng Street Local Store and changes to our bin cycles have all proved emotive topics in recent times.

Live streaming the activities in council chambers isn’t cheap but it’s an investment that’s worthwhile even if there aren’t record-breaking ratings.

Transparency in decision making is the top priority laid down by the state government when it comes to local council meeting principles.

Council plans to continue to live stream the meetings.

On Tuesday night around 60 people watched the meeting live and another 70 people viewed the recording the next day.

While mayor Reg Kidd and his colleagues wouldn’t be naive enough to think residents will skip their favourite shows to tune-in to the meeting, having the option there is akin to council putting a vote of confidence in itself and its decision-making process.

Do yourself a favour and have a look, you may be pleasantly surprised.


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