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




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

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

Baby born on way to Hervey Bay Hospital

Paramedics received the call at 4.15am.

Cool change headed for the Fraser Coast

After a hotter than average May on the Fraser Coast, cooler temperatures are finally on their way.

We can expect to feel a cool change over the weekend.

Latest deals and offers

How to peel a potato fast

There is a fast way to peel potatoes.

You've been doing it wrong all this time.

Johnny Depp thinks Barnaby Joyce is inbred with a tomato.

Johnny Depp on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Johnny Depp explains his apology video on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 5

Officers drag the woman back to her cell

In this video the woman drinks water from the toilet.

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked

Caloundra’s former Centrepoint Buffet site up for sale

FOR SALE: The home of the old Centrepoint Buffet

Restaurant fined for unhygienic practices closed months ago