Council meeting goes ahead at Mackay Convention Centre

It was the first time since 1869 the council was unable to meet in its chambers.

Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre (MECC), on the mid-Queensland coast, has proven the show can, and will, go on by offering an alternative venue for a statutory council meeting.

Councillors, directors and other senior management from Mackay Regional Council were unable to meet in Council Chambers as normal, due to social distancing requirements as a result of COVID-19.

MECC stepped up to the mark and provided an alternative venue for the meeting and swearing-in ceremony for new councillors that adhered to all government guidelines.

The venue’s four meeting rooms were combined to deliver a 333-square-metre space in which the council meeting was set up, with the Mayor Greg Williamson actually pacing out the room to ensure it not only met but exceeded the distancing requirements.

Mackay Regional Council socially distances for its meeting at the MECC

It was the first time in living memory since the council was established in 1869 that it has been unable to meet in its official chambers forum.

Andrew Bobeldyk, manager at MECC and Events, said the centre was pleased to offer a socially distanced venue and to assist with the technology requirements.

“With strong forward bookings for 2020 and 2021, we’re looking forward to welcoming conference clients back to the MECC, many of whom are multiple repeat clients and have subsequently become the MECC’s firm friends,” he said.

“We wish them and their families all the very best of good health as we await more buoyant times.”

The meeting was livestreamed on the Mackay Regional Council website, YouTube and Facebook, allowing the general public to watch the meeting and for friends and family to witness the swearing-in of new councillors.

It is anticipated that Mackay Regional Council meetings will continue to be staged at the convention centre for the foreseeable future.

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