MAYOR Col Murray has been granted the powers to make decisions on behalf of the councillors in an emergency.
The contingency plan for COVID-19 allows for decision-making only outside of normal council meetings until the pandemic has ended or it's terminated by the council.
Given the trends and the way this COVID-19 virus has impacted on communities around the globe, we will see casualties here in the city.Mayor Col Murray
The emergency powers come at a time when the city is in uncharted waters, Cr Col Murray said.
"In my nine years in office, I have never taken one of these measures," he said.
"Given the trends and the way this COVID-19 virus has impacted on communities around the globe, we will see casualties here in the city.
"We are dealing with something we have never seen before.
"It is not to fulfill the job of the council but to respond in emergency situations."
The new powers will allow the mayor to make critical decisions about securing and deploying resources in the city, and are being introduced in preparation for a time where councillors may not be able to meet due to the impacts of COVID-19.
General manager Paul Bennett will provide a report once a month to all the councillors that specify any decisions made by the mayor in their absence.
Councillor Glenn Inglis expressed some concern about the decision, he argued that it was not legally necessary and could put Cr Murray in an "awkward" situation.
"Transparency in important decisions should not reside with a single person," he said.
"For me you can't delegate decisions to one single person, it's not fair."
On Tuesday night the councillors also voted to reduce meetings.
The council will also investigate ways for councillors to further practice social distancing using technology to video conference.
Cr Charles Impy said the city was in times it had never seen before.
"The rest of the community are expected to social isolate and council are no different from the rest of the community," he said.