By Steph McNicol

MACEDON Ranges Shire Council will now consider virtual meetings, after all items on the agenda were deferred at last week’s ordinary meeting due to COVID-19.

The meeting was held outdoors, with councillors practising social distancing, and audio was available for people who were live-streaming online.

Apologies were made for Cr Bill West, Cr Jennifer Anderson, Cr Roger Jukes and Cr Andrew Twaits, who were all absent.

The meeting concluded at 6.11pm with councillors deferring all items on the agenda, other than urgent business, to a future meeting.

“Virtual meeting arrangements will now be considered by the chief executive officers as per council’s resolution. It is important to be effective, efficient and safe,” Mayor Janet Pearce said.

“The deferral of items on the agenda means that they will be considered at a future meeting. Any decisions that were pending council consideration will now need to wait until a future meeting.”

Cr Pearce said the items on the agenda were put on hold until councillors knew what impact COVID-19 would have on council.

“The matters deferred by council will not be able to be enacted until they have been considered by council,” she said.

“It is envisaged items on the March agenda will be considered at the April meeting so they can be progressed.”

Cr Pearce said the community could expect delays in some council decisions due to COVID-19.

“This is a fast-moving situation and at this early stage it is not known what impact the pandemic will have on council projects and programs; however, it is reasonable to expect some delays may result,” she said.

Councillors also decided to cancel the submitters committee meeting scheduled for April 8 and the upcoming ordinary council meeting scheduled for April 22.

Copies of the agenda and minutes from the March 25 meeting are available on the Macedon Ranges Shire Council website.