Are our councillors worth a pary rise? Fraser Coast mayor Mick Kruger, who says he works up to seven days a week, certainly thinks so.
Are our councillors worth a pary rise? Fraser Coast mayor Mick Kruger, who says he works up to seven days a week, certainly thinks so.

Local councillors get pay rise

FRASER Coast councillors can look forward to a Christmas pay bonus.

On December 1 the state's Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal will gazette its newly decided range of pays for councils across the state.

And councillors can once again choose the exact level with which they want to reward themselves – providing it sits within the new range set by the tribunal.

They will have a choice to adopt either the highest amount permissible or the lowest amount or a level in between.

Mayor Mick Kruger currently earns $130,540 plus an amalgamation loading of $5540.

Deputy Mayor Julie Arthur is on $88,110 plus an amalgamation loading of $3880.

The other nine councillors get $78,320 plus that $3400 loading.

Last year, councillors awarded themselves the base pay levels at the very top of the State tribunal's range for 2010.

The bottom end of the tribunal's set scale would have had the mayor on $114,220, the deputy mayor on $75,060 and the other councillors on $65,270. Councillors also get a car, mobile phone and computer although a couple of them have turned down a council-funded car.

“The cost of a vehicle to purchase, run and maintain is approximately $15,000 per annum. A mobile phone $1500 per annum and laptop computers $1000 per annum,” Nathan Ferriere, a financial planner for Life Stages Financial Strategies, said yesterday.

The December 1 recommended increases are likely to be quite high because both federal and state MPs are now in line for a 4.1 per cent pay rise, in the wake of a decision earlier this week by the Canberra-based Remuneration Tribunal to allow the incoming prime minister to approve the recommended pay hike.

The flow on from federal politicians' pay rises goes to state MPs.

“We base our local government decision on a percentage of state MPs' salaries. We adopt what they get as the base for the ranges we set for each Qld council,” a state tribunal spokesperson said yesterday.

“Our wages never went up for two years because the state MPs didn't take a pay rise,” Mr Kruger said.

“And our amalgamation loading gets reduced every year.”

The loading is due to run out at the next election in 2012. The first year of the amalgamation loading, Mr Kruger received $11,000 and councillors $7000.

“We work across a region that is 7300sq km and I know that I mostly work seven days a week,” Mr Kruger said.

To submit to the tribunal visit www.dip.qld.gov.au/lgrdt



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