The City of Stonnington has confirmed that formal Council meetings have been postponed until further notice.
Business that would otherwise have been dealt with at an ordinary meeting will now be dealt with by the City of Stonnington Chief Executive Officer and other senior members of Council staff, in accordance with delegations given to them by Councillors at an urgent meeting on 27 March 2020.
Councillors will continue to meet regularly via videoconference with the Chief Executive Officer and will use this forum to speak on behalf of their constituents and inform decisions.
CEO Jacqui Weatherill said the extraordinary measures were designed to help reduce the risk of the spread of the COVD-19 virus.
“Unfortunately, the Victorian Local Government Act does not allow for Council meetings to be held using online technology. We will work with other Councils to address this gap in legislation, but in the meantime, Councillors have moved quickly to enable us to continue to deliver the essential services that ensure the hygiene, safety and amenity of our community,” Ms Weatherill said.
“The safety of our community is critical, and I thank the Councillors for coming together so strongly to ensure the continuity of services in this critical time.”
City of Stonnington Mayor, Cr Steve Stefanopoulos, said Council is committed to transparency and democracy, and emphasised that no major planning, financial or other matters will be determined in this period.
“It is important that the community understands why these temporary measures are in place. This is not a decision we take lightly, but as a Council we agreed unanimously that this is in the best interests of the community at this time.
“My fellow Councillors and I will remain in daily contact with the CEO to help ensure we continue to communicate and engage closely with the community.
“Council meetings are a wonderful place to discuss ideas and to advocate for our community and it’s easy to take them for granted.
“As soon as it is safe and prudent to do so we’ll re-establish them,” Cr Stefanopoulos added.