News

Pensioner shuns salary: Vote for me, I’ll work for free

VOTE ONE: Division nine resident Gary Smith is running for the Fraser Coast Regional Council but doesn’t want to be paid for his work.
VOTE ONE: Division nine resident Gary Smith is running for the Fraser Coast Regional Council but doesn’t want to be paid for his work. Alistair Brightman

A CANDIDATE for next year's council elections has pledged to refuse the $82,000 councillor salary and work for free to represent pensioners if he's elected.

The 71-year-old Scarness man has thrown his hat in to the 2016 local government elections, taking on former Deputy Mayor Stuart Taylor in division nine.

Gary Smith, a former private investigator and finance worker, claims he couldn't "honestly be a representative" of the older members of the community if he was earning more than them and not facing the same financial pressures.

A member of the newly formed Mature Age Party, which focuses on seniors, Mr Smith has pledged to only claim out-of-pocket expenses while continuing to receive his pension.

Mr Smith decided to run because he believes he's well known in the community.

He believes shunning the salary would allow him to understand how difficult some pensioners found it to financially cope.

"How can I stand for representation for pensioners if I'm accepting $100,000 a year?" he said.

"I don't know the legal ramifications on that at the moment but I'd like to have the money put into the ward (division) fund."

COMMENT: Pay packet not so big at hourly rate

The maximum aged pension is $648.40 for couples and $860.20 for singles per fortnight.

One of Mr Smith's first policy initiatives is to abandon pet registration fees for pensioners.

He said the elderly benefited from having a pet as a companion.

Mr Smith joins the race for division nine against mother-of-two Krissie Miller and Cr Taylor.

The next council elections will be held on March 19, 2016 leaving about 9½ months until polling day.

THEIR ANNUAL PAY

From July 1, 2015

Mayor $142,769

Councillor $82,655

Deputy Mayor $93,927

Councillors also have access to a car and a mobile phone

Topics:  editors picks, election, fraser coast council, salary




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'All I heard when my baby cried was ‘you’re a terrible mum'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images of Katie Dykes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

KATIE'S battle with PND is not unlike many mothers.

'I just thought all mums got no sleep'

MELTOPIA battled PND with all four of her children.

4 survival tips for mummas heading back to work

The few reminders every working mum needs to read.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Warm days followed by cold nights expected on weekend

It might not be quite warm enough to go to the beach, but the Fraser Coast is expected to be sunny on Saturday and Sunday.

EXPECT cold night this weekend, but warmer days.

Toogoom to host second round of Wide Bay Series

RACE ON: Darren Caruso is pictured during last year’s Wide Bay Series round at Toogoom.

Organisers hope to match last year's number of 90 entries.

Who donated to Loft and O’Connell in the election?

Mayoral candidates Chris Loft and Gerard O'Connell.

The two front-running candidates have made their donor list public

Latest deals and offers

Joel Seeney defies the odds and collects second place in the Max's muscle up challenge

Beating the odds with a point to prove - Maryborough Fitness Health and Bodyworks'...

Dry July on the Fraser Coast

Dry July - Vera Van De Velde (clinical nurse - Alcohol & Other Drugs Support Service) asking drinkers to abstain for the month of July.Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Dry July is a chance to abstain from alcohol for the month of July to raise money...

Maryborough mural poject

Maryborough artist Craig Winter dedicates his Kent Street mural to the story of the Bauer Nurses. Photo: Valerie Horton / Fraser Coast Chronicle

Craig Winter is creating the latest Maryborough Mural Project artwork.

Burnett Heads housing development approved

COUNCIL APPROVED: A Burnett Heads housing development has been approved by Bundaberg Regional Council. Photo Contributed

Councillors approved the development seven votes to four

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward