At our first Council meeting for 2017, two motions will go before Council that I believe are very important, the introduction of live streaming and the hanging of historic flags.
Live streaming of Council meetings is something that I committed to during my election campaign and I am confident that it will pass with the support of most, if not all Councillors.
Live streaming will open up the Council process to the community like never before. No longer will people have to put aside an entire night to travel all the way in to the Civic Centre, or organise baby sitters. Importantly, Council will be opened up to those who, for various reason, are physically unable to attend. Residents will be able to get home from work, cook themselves some dinner and sit down to watch democracy in progress from the comfort of their own homes. This change is an important step in opening up transparency and accessibility of Local Government.
The second motion will be to hang the old Oakleigh and Waverley flags in the Council chambers for all to see. I believe that this will be an important change to occur, just prior to live streaming our meetings. The two flags currently hang from flag poles behind the Mayors chair, and for all intents and purposes are hidden from view. When I raised the issue of hanging the flags at the first Council meeting I attended, I was shocked that some of the Councillors from the previous term had never actually seen them before.
The Oakleigh Road District was founded in 1857, becoming the Shire of Oakleigh in 1871, the Oakleigh Borough in 1891 and finally the City of Oakleigh in 1927. The Shire of Mulgrave was initially part of the Oakleigh District, but was founded in its own right in 1897 and later became the City of Waverley in 1961. The City of Oakleigh and City of Waverley merged during the 1994 Council amalgamation to become the City of Monash.
I am a self-professed history buff and often find myself researching different eras of history from all over the world, but nothing interests me more than the history of the area in which I live. In this, the 160th anniversary of the various reiterations of the City of Oakleigh, I think it is very appropriate that we acknowledge and proudly put on public display the flags which represent the rich history of our area, which has culminated in the creation of the City of Monash.
As always, it would be fantastic to see as many of our residents and ratepayers to attend the Council meeting and witness democracy in action. This is your Council, and I encourage you to get involved.