THE City of Greater Geelong has begun hosting community-based meetings this week for the first time in more than a year.
During the pandemic council meetings were accessible via Zoom but the first public meeting took place at Highton Bowls Club on Tuesday, April 27.
The return of the initiative allows residents an opportunity to better engage with the decision-making process and witness first-hand the discussions and processes involved.
Prior to the Tuesday meeting the community had not been able to attend since March 10, 2020, as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.
Kardinia Ward councillor Bruce Harwood said he enjoyed the opportunity to meet with his local community.
“We have missed these community-based meetings, which have always been a great opportunity to help the full council gain a clearer understanding of the issues ward councillors speak with their local communities about on a regular basis,” he said.
Tuesday’s meeting marked the first of four community-based council meetings which will take place in each ward.
Meetings will continue to be live-streamed, marking the first broadcasting of a council meeting outside of City Hall.
Councillor Belinda Maloney said the community will have an opportunity to meet and greet councillors as well submit their questions prior to the meeting.
“We want to make our decision-making as accessible and transparent as possible,” she said.
“Alongside live streaming, heading to community locations is an excellent way to involve more people in our meetings.”
In addition to community meetings, councillors will host ‘Listening Post’ sessions in their wards throughout the year to encourage less-formal discussions between councillors and their community.
Specific dates and locations for these sessions are yet to be confirmed.
To register your attendance for upcoming meetings head to geelongaustralia.com.au/meetings.