As part of efforts to reign in spending Clarence Valley councillors have voted not to give themselves a pay rise for the new financial year.
The Councillors were entitled to a 2.5% increase after it was approved by the state’s Local Government Remuneration Committee.
Councillors would have received an extra $400 a year, and the mayor over $1000.
Mayor Richie Williamson said it will not fix the budget but every saving helps.
“I think it’s an appropriate gesture that the Councillors will not be taking a 2.5% increase on their remuneration for next financial year,” he said.
“The timing was right for that decision I believe, but saying that the money that we’re talking about saving isn’t going to be the silver bullet for the budget bottom line.
Mayor Richie Williamson said they are serious about reigning in the Council’s finances.
“… it was certainly an important process that we demonstrated to the community that we’re very serious about our budget deliberations.”
Richmond Valley Council Approves Increase
On the flip side Richmond Valley Council has just approved a salary increase of more than $10,000 for their GM for the next financial year.
John Walker says his salary package is in line with those paid at other similar councils.
“Is it the right time? It’s probably never the right time, but it’s a difficult case,” Mr Walker said.
Richard Gates, formerly of Evans Head Ratepayers Association questions the wisdom of the bonus payment.
“If you look at all the measures of social disadvantage and so on, we come up quite close to the top of the list for disadvantage,” he said.
“So I think it’s an increase we can ill afford to pay.
Richmond Valley Mayor defended the decision.
“Council looks at comparisons with councils within our region, and also councils right across the state that fit in the same bracket as Richmond Valley,” he said.
“If you’ve got a good staff member and you don’t pay them the equivalent that they can get elsewhere, do you keep them? Someone who’s delivered for the council and we believe done a great job for us, then he needs to be rewarded.”
Source ABC News