19-10 Consultation on webcasting guidelines

Category: Circular to Councils Status: Active
Circular Details: 19-10 / 13 June 2019 / A638257 Contact: Council Governance / (02) 4428 4100
Previous Circular: 18-45 Attachments: Nil
Who should read this: General Managers / Governance and IT staff Action required: Response to OLG
PDF Version: Council Circular 19-10 – PDF

What’s new or changing

  • On and from 14 December 2019, all councils in NSW will be required to webcast meetings of the council and committees whose membership comprises only of councillors.
  • Many councils already webcast their meetings. The Office of Local Government (OLG) is seeking to utilise the experience and expertise of these councils to provide guidance to those councils that do not currently webcast meetings.
  • The guidance will include:
    • case studies of different models for webcasting meetings
    • strategies for managing defamation and other legal risks
    • information about councils’ obligations with respect to privacy and records management when webcasting meetings.

What this will mean for your council

  • OLG is seeking to provide in its guidance a range of case studies of different webcasting practices. These will offer councils considering options for webcasting their meetings a broad range of examples to draw from.
  • OLG is seeking submissions from councils that are willing to be included as a case study. In particular, OLG is seeking the following information from councils for use in case studies:
    • How does your council webcast its meetings
    • What equipment/technical facilities does the council use to webcast meetings?
    • What were the costs associated with installing equipment and fitting out the chamber for webcasting and what are the ongoing costs of webcasting?
    • Does your council hold meetings in multiple locations and if so, how does it webcast meetings held at venues other than the main council chamber?
    • What are the advantages and/or disadvantages associated with your council’s method of webcasting?
    • What strategies does your council use to manage defamation and other legal risks when webcasting meetings?
    • How does your council comply with its privacy and records management obligations when webcasting meetings?
    • Does your council have a policy on the webcasting of meetings (and if so, please provide a copy or a link)?
    • Is there anything else councils should be aware of when webcasting their meetings?
  • Submissions may be made to, labelled ‘Webcasting Consultation’ and marked to the attention of OLG’s Council Governance Team.
  • Submissions should be made by COB Friday 12 July 2019.

Key points

  • The Model Code of Meeting Practice for Local Councils in NSW (the Model Meeting Code) provides that all meetings of councils and committees whose membership comprises only of councillors should be webcast to increase the transparency of council decision making and to allow access to those who may not be physically able to attend meetings.
  • Irrespective of whether they have adopted a code of meeting practice based on the Model Meeting Code, all councils will be required to webcast meetings of the council and committees whose membership comprises only of councillors from 14 December 2019.
  • The requirement to webcast meetings may be met simply by posting an audio or video recording of the meeting on the council’s website meaning that all councils, irrespective of their size, resources and location will be able to comply.

Where to go for further information

  • Contact OLG’s Council Governance Team by telephone on 02 4428 4100 or by email at

Tim Hurst

Chief Executive