Wage rises split council

Image: File photo.
Image: File photo.

Some councillors thought the increases were little enough for the work they did, while others thought the increases might be too much and one said he would not have the conscience to accept a rise.

The council agreed to put out for advertising an annual increase that would see the mayoral allowance rise to $67,500 plus $34,500 in attendance fees while councillors get $27,000 a year.

Mayor Paddi Creevey, who is not planning to re-nominate for the position in October, said councillors should be courageous about making a decision on increased salaries..

‘It won’t be popular and people will take pot shots at us but there are always cheap shots from those who don’t understand the complexities of our roles,” she said.

Cr Lynn Rogers felt new councillors did not realise the workload they were taking on while Cr Fred Riebeling hoped the increases would encourage young people and others to nominate.

While Cr Dave Schumacher thought the increase might be a little too much, Cr Ron Wortley pushed for at least $27,000.

‘I always put the community first: it’s a positive experience and I enjoy every minute but few people do it for financial reward,” he said.

Cr Gary Brown saw his role as a volunteer and said councillors should be reimbursed for their costs only.

‘Volunteers get nothing and if I was going to be on the council (Cr Brown will also not renominate in October), I would not have the conscience to take the increase,” he said.

Cr Brown also opposed payments to councillors 12 months in advance.

‘Payments should be made on a monthly basis,” he said.