A key learning during the Covid-19 pandemic has been that there are significant advantages to allowing Councillors to attend Council meetings electronically if they so choose.

Council’s Governance Rules do not currently explicitly address the issue of virtual attendance. Historically, it was assumed that attendance meant being at the meeting in person. However, community expectations have changed markedly during the Covid-19 pandemic and electronic attendance at a wide range of meetings is now widely accepted.

The State Government has made it possible for Councillors to attend Council meetings electronically during the Covid-19 pandemic. The current arrangements cease on 1 September 2022. From 2 September 2022, electronic attendance at Council meetings will be governed by amendments to the Local Government Act 2020.

The amendments require changes to Council’s Governance Rules.

There are two key aspects to these changes:

1. Clarification that “meeting” in the Governance Rules includes the situation where some Councillors are attending electronically; and

2. Inclusion of a process whereby Councillors request and are given approval to attend electronically.

How to provide your feedback

Responses to the draft Governance Rules must be provided by a written submission.

Submissions must be received before 4pm on Friday, 12 August 2022.

Submissions should include your feedback on the draft Governance Rules and your reasons for holding that view.

Step 1. Review the proposed changes to the Governance Rules

Council is seeking feedback on the sections highlighted in yellow on pages 4 and 22 of the report below.

Step 2. Submit feedback - sign up or log in first

There are two ways to make your submission.

1. Complete the submission form online below, by clicking on 'Sign Up' or 'Login' in the 'Join the conversation today' box below, then complete the submission form.

2. Post a submission marked 'Submission on Electronic Attendance of Councillors at Council Meetings' and addressed to City of Monash, PO Box 1, Glen Waverley Victoria 3150, or email: mail@monash.vic.gov.au, attention Rob Pedder.

Submissions must contain your name, address and contact details. Please also state if you, or a person acting on your behalf, wish to speak at the Council meeting in support of your submission. Submitters wishing to speak to their submissions will be invited to attend the Council committee meeting at 6.30pm on 16 August 2022.

Submissions close at 4pm on Friday, 12 August 2022.