Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Councillors Explode over 2.5% Pay Rise; ,C[pounds sterling]If You Just Want to Get Your Name in the Paper, That's fine.,C[yen] Cr Ingram

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Councillors Explode over 2.5% Pay Rise; ,C[pounds sterling]If You Just Want to Get Your Name in the Paper, That's fine.,C[yen] Cr Ingram

Article excerpt

Byline: JENNA CAIRNEY

Pay rise

Mayor's from $110,960 to $113,730

Deputy Mayor from $71,800 to $73,590

Councillors from $62,010 to $63,560

*Amalgamation loading will be almost halved in July, lessening the salary increase

COUNCILLORS in favour of giving themself a 2.5% pay increase accused those against it of political grandstanding at Tuesday's general meeting.

Those against accepting the rise said it was insensitive timing but, outnumbered in the vote, elected officials will now enjoy a pay boost.

Last year, despite opposition from councillors Peter Blundell and Ross Bartley, the council decided to take a united stance and vote in favour of the 3% increase.

This year there was no such agreement with mud being thrown between opposing sides.

The Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal recommends what adjustments should be made to elected officials' salaries once a year.

The 2.5% increase mirrored Queensland parliamentarians' rise and was modest compared to the Federal Government's 4% increase.

Since amalgamation councillors have received a loading on top of their salary, which is lowered each year.

In July this year it will be reduced significantly, from $2610 to $1310 for councillors.

However, councillors Cameron Gow, Vic Pennisi and Ross Bartley expressed concern about taking the increase in such difficult financial times.

C[pounds sterling]I would prefer to maintain the status quo until the end of June if we are legally allowed to do that,C[yen] he said.

C[pounds sterling]I won't support the motion to take the full amount.C[yen]

Cr Bartley said producers who poured milk down the drain or tossed out damp hay after the floods received no compensation, and he took that into consideration.

Cr Pennisi agreed and suggested if it were not possible to look at it later in the year they could donate the increase to the flood appeal.

This riled Councillor Mally McMurtrie, who said in taking the increase councillors would still finish up worse off after the loading was slashed adding: C[pounds sterling]I know I speak on behalf of a few of us that donate more than that anyway. …

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