THEY weren't quite the hot tickets some were expecting and a few of the 12 seats in the public gallery for Bathurst Regional Council's monthly meeting still had not been claimed by the close of business on Monday.
The tickets were made available from 10am and there was a line-up of at least four people outside Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre wanting to grab theirs in person.
They needn't have been too concerned; all four in the queue had secured a ticket by 10.05am and with just a trickle of tickets being claimed online, the full allocation of 12 tickets was still not exhausted by 4.30pm.
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Bathurst disability access advocate Bob Triming was at the front of the queue outside BMEC, having arrived at 9am to secure his spot.
He said his main concern with the allocation of tickets was that people who were not able to access the internet - and particularly people with a disability - might be left high and dry.
"But I guess I didn't have to worry," he said.
Mr Triming said he believed having the public locked out of council meetings for the past 12 months had impacted the way council had run.
"I think it has certainly had an impact on how they [councillors] have conducted themselves," he said.
"I think they sometimes forget there are cameras there."
Mr Triming, a regular at council meetings before the COVID break, said he had missed having the opportunity to put forward his views on a range of issues, particularly where questions of disability access were concerned.
Wednesday night will be the first time in 12 months that the public has been allowed to attend a council meeting but ongoing COVID restrictions have seen public gallery numbers capped at 12.
Members of the public will again have the opportunity to address councillors and council staff during public question time at the start of the meeting.
However, that part of the meeting will not be streamed live on the internet.
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