Shire of Augusta-Margaret River councillors have given conditional support to the potential live-streaming of meetings as part of a submission to a State Government review. While councillors agreed with the principle of live-streaming meetings for the benefit of ratepayers unable to attend in person — and noting they successfully used the technology during the height of COVID-19 lockdowns — live meetings were not without risks. Veteran councillor Ian Earl noted any broadcast would also publicise any misbehaviour by people addressing councillors as well open councillors to potential defamation risks. “Some of that may be used against us and cause some grief for councillors when it is taken out of context,” he said. A similar note of concern existed over the recording of meetings and later making them available to ratepayers. But Shire president Paula Cristoffanini gave the streaming move her seal of approval. “We should use all of the technology available to us to make that information available,” she said. Deputy Shire president Julia Meldrum said streamed meetings were “appropriate for our spread-out community”. “We need to make our governance as transparent and accessible for the whole community,” she said. The council resolution included support for stricter prosecution of councillors who broke the Local Government Act.