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Councillors challenged to donate pay rise to charity

Businessman Warren Persal is challenging councillors to donate their pay rise to charity and says he will match it.
Businessman Warren Persal is challenging councillors to donate their pay rise to charity and says he will match it. Robyne Cuerel

MARYBOROUGH businessman Warren Persal has offered to match donations of any Fraser Coast councillor who decides to give part of their 4.5% pay rise to charity.

The owner of the Beach House Hotel and the Carriers Arms Hotel said he'd give the same amount any councillor chose to give from the estimated $3000 rise for councillors and estimated $8000 for the mayoral position.

"We will match it dollar for dollar," he said.

The rise, which was ordered by the Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal, will come into effect on July 1.

Several councillors said they would take up Mr Persal's offer including James Hansen, Rolf Light and Chris Loft.

Cr Light said the offer was very generous and he looked forward to talking with Mr Persal about making a joint donation.

He said the offer mirrored Mr Persal's contribution to employment and the community.

Cr Loft hoped it would motivate other business people in the Fraser Coast to donate.

"Let's go for it," he said.

Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell and councillor Phil Truscott said donations were a private matter for councillors, however Cr O'Connell said he had spoken with Mr Persal on Friday and looked forward to working with him.

Some councillors have declined and cited their track record with Fraser Coast charities.

"There are many ways a person can donate or give to worthy causes," Cr Trevor McDonald said.

"Money is just one method and one that can come from several sources such as grants, bequests and fundraising.

"I prefer to give time - and appropriate skills - which are not readily available from alternate sources."

Deputy Mayor George Seymour said donating money should be done for altruistic purposes, not self-serving ones.

"I donate money to charity, and will continue to do so, not because it is tax deductible or for media recognition," he said.

Councillors Darren Everard and Daniel Sanderson commended Mr Persal's offer but did not say publicly if they would accept.

"My family is already very well committed to supporting not-for-profit organisations and community groups with time and finances. I don't make this public and I don't think I need to as what we give should be given in private in any situation or scenario," Cr Sanderson said.

Cr Stuart Taylor said he did not intend to take up the offer and Cr Robert Garland did not say publicly if he would accept.

Topics:  beach house hotel, businessman, carriers arms hotel, charity, councillors, maryborough, pay rise



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