Moving online

Calls to have the Mt Barker Council implement live streaming fell on deaf ears at a meeting earlier this month with the proposal not even progressing to an investigation stage.
One side of the argument is that the world is rapidly moving into the digital space and the council should follow suit, allowing anyone to watch meetings and follow debates as they unfold.
Some believe this would create greater accountability, encourage better behavior from elected members and allow meetings to reach greater audiences.
This all sounds very encouraging, but only two submissions for the change were received indicating a less than overwhelming community demand for the service.
Elected members at the December meeting said the council broadcast issues and intentions through its website and The Courier giving the public multiple opportunities to become engaged with the planning process.
Live streaming won’t allow for greater public participation.
That can only happen by attending meetings in person and speaking directly to councillors and staff during public submission periods.

Fire safety

The launch of the new Alert SA app at the beginning of what has already proven to be a dangerous bushfire season is a positive move for fire safety in SA.
Two years after the previous Government was forced to pull an earlier version that failed when it was most needed, South Australians can rest assured that they will have up-to-date fire information at their fingertips.
The app is based on a system in NSW which has already proven effective and the Government insists that issues encountered with the previous app have been resolved.
But while the timely launch is good news for the State – particularly for those living in high risk bushfire areas such as the Hills – the app is only one tool in the toolbox.
It’s essential that South Australians don’t become complacent.
Preparation is imperative and the first and most crucial step towards bushfire survival is having a bushfire plan in place.