Councillors to vote on pay rise
RICHMOND Valley councillors may give themselves a pay rise at today’s ordinary council meeting.
The Local Government Remuneration Tribunal, which sets the minimum and maximum amounts payable to mayors and councillors, has determined mayoral and councillors’ fees can increase by 3 per cent from July 1.
Richmond Valley mayor Col Sullivan said he supported the recommendation for the increase.
“Just the cost of doing what we do has increased by more than 3pc,” Cr Sullivan said.
“It’s a small increase.”
Cr Sullivan said if councillors were paid more there would be better quality councillors.
“Across New South Wales local government would do better with fewer, but better paid, councillors,” he said.
Richmond Valley Council turned over $50 million each year and was the second-biggest employer in Casino, Cr Sullivan said.
Attracting high-quality councillors was important for the management of a business with such a large turn-over, he said.
Cr Donella Kinnish said she was happy to forgo the pay rise if it would help the council’s bottom line.
“I am concerned we are starting our financial year $500,000 in deficit,” Cr Kinnish said.
“I am happy to forfeit it, but it’s only $2520 if all councillors decide to forgo it.”
Cr Kinnish said the councillors needed to sit down with council staff to identify areas where savings could be made to bring the budget back into the black.
If the pay recommendation was passed Cr Sullivan’s fortnightly remuneration would increase by $50.83 to $1740.83.
Councillors’ fortnightly remuneration would increase by $23.33 bringing it to $797.50 each.
Historically, the council has set its remuneration at the maximum allowable for the rural category as set by the tribunal.