WELCOME BACK: SDRC meetings will return to their official council chambers from next week. Picture: SDRC
WELCOME BACK: SDRC meetings will return to their official council chambers from next week. Picture: SDRC

Council meetings return to chambers, with new limits

IN ONE of their first tangible steps towards normality, the Southern Downs Regional Council will finally return meetings to their official chambers.

The meeting room within the SDRC building has been reorganised with mobile plastic tables and new audiovisual equipment to meet social distancing and livestreaming requirements.

Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi said the transition from Warwick Town Hall should be finalised by Monday, and would be a welcome return to normality for councillors.

“We can fit 17 people in this chambers, because of the reconfiguration, and without it we would have still been in the Town Hall,” he said.

“The IT people have been discovering products that they can adapt into these chambers, with microphones, cameras, and that will be in place.”

To accommodate some other attendees under the 17-person restriction, the room adjacent to council chambers will be fitted out with additional livestreaming equipment and opened for bookings.

SDRC acting CEO Jane Stroud said the room would only fit six to eight people under social distancing measures, with the spots likely to be allocated to council officials, but it remained a positive step forward..

“We can only seat 17, and by the time we get the councillors, the minutes-taker, the executive, and whoever is presenting, we’re about at capacity,” Ms Stroud said.

“So, we thought we’d book out the exec room for six or eight people, and we’ll take bookings and people can sit in there, watch the livestream, and basically be next door.

“It’s just good to be back in here, it frees up the Town Hall, and it’s certainly going to be a lot warmer, which is good.”

At this stage, all SDRC meetings will still be livestreamed via their Facebook page, with condensed versions available on their YouTube channel.

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