Council votes to pay for Sellers to go on social media trip

THE already social-media-savvy Mayor Gail Sellers will jet off to Melbourne in May for a social media conference after the council voted to allow $1045 to be spent on the trip.

Cr Sellers will be attending the "Social Media for the Public Sector" conference at the Melbourne Park Function Centre on May 21 and 22, and will aim to improve the way the Mayor interacts online.

According to organisers, the event will aim to "provide the three tiers of government and the wider public sector with detailed information about how to strategically, meaningfully and effectively connect with the millions of Australians who have embraced social media as part of their everyday communications".

When Cr Sellers opened the floor for comment, councillor Rick Hansen questioned why it was just the mayor who was going to the conference.

Cr Sellers said an offer had been made to different officers within the organisation to attend the conference, but they were already slated to attend a similar event on the Gold Coast run by the Local Government Association.

CEO Stuart Randle said in any case, staff and elected members had to treat social media differently.

"Social media is becoming a bigger part of what we do and it seems that this conference is in line with the direction we're taking," Mr Randle said.

The $1045 will be drawn from cash put aside for councillor travel, but it was raised at Tuesday's meeting as travel expenses above $1000 must be approved by councillors.