By Rebecca Peppiatt
For the first time in history, the Shire of Mundaring will have its election count livestreamed to the general public, thanks to an entrepreneurial and forward thinking 15-year-old.
Owen Briffa, from Parkerville, has been granted permission by the Western Australian Electoral Commission (WAEC) to film proceedings at the Shire offices on election day, October 16.
Although unable to film the actual count of the votes, Owen will be in attendance at the offices all day interviewing candidates and community leaders, before being the first to announce the new councillors at 8.30pm that evening.
The livestreaming will take place via his business Facebook page, Mundaring Media Network.
“I want to keep the community connected with the elections and other major issues in the region,” he said.
“In these tough times it is important to make the community feel like they are a part of the event which is what the livestreams are all about.”
Owen is well known within the local community as a passionate advocate for preserving the history of the region and is a regular at the Shire’s monthly council meetings.
He has already interviewed many of the candidates running in this year’s elections which can be viewed on his business page.
Shire chief executive Jonathan Throssell says livestreaming of the event is a great way for locals to stay abreast of the process.
“The livestream will provide an opportunity for members of the public to view a process that many people otherwise would not be able to see,” he said.
“This aligns with the Shire’s commitment to transparency in the democratic process.”
Much of the voting in the Shire of Mundaring is taking place via post, with residents able to place their papers into a ballot box at the Shire’s offices instead if they wish.
Counting of the votes will start at 6pm and is expected to be finished by 8pm.