Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Moira Shire councillor allowance unchanged

Moira Shire’s mayor and councillors should retain their current annual allowance.

JESSICA GRIMBLE February 20, 2013 4:05am

Moira Shire’s mayor and councillors should retain their current annual allowance.

Councillors approved a motion at a meeting on Monday night that allowances remain at $22405 per councillor and $69325 for the mayor per year for the four-year term.

Residents can make submissions to the motion and allowances will be confirmed at a meeting on Monday, April 15 at Barmah.

Cr Wendy Buck said while she took on the role for the love of community involvement, she noted the allowance remained consistent with the previous term and therefore would not change for a period of eight years.

She said councillors put in many hours per week — many, she said, the public might not realise.

Cr Buck said she would contribute about 30 hours per week to being a councillor — which would equate to a payment of about $14.36 an hour.

‘‘As a councillor, we set a very good example to the community that we are prepared not to take an increase because of the constraints of our budget,’’ she said.

‘‘I would urge the managers, directors and chief executive officer to follow in our footsteps.’’

Cr Alex Monk said it was important to remember the sum was not ‘‘pay’’, but an allowance for councillors’ time and effort.

She said the allowance would not encourage people with young families, or career-minded people, to become a councillor because it would not make up for lost pay due to attending meetings and functions.

Cr Kevin Bourke said young members of the community would be a welcome addition to council but agreed the allowance was not enough to balance their career or family obligations.

Under section 74 of the Local Government Act 1989, the council must determine the level of mayoral and councillor allowances within six months after an election. This process requires the council to call for community consultation and submissions on the proposal.

Allowances must be within the range and limits set by an Order of Council under section 74B of the Act which was last made on October 26.

The council falls within Category 2 — based on the number of residents and recurrent revenue — which gives an allowance of between $9317 and $22405 per councillor per year, or up to $69325 per year for the mayor.

An amount equivalent to the Superannuation Guarantee Levy is payable.

A council does not have to pay an allowance to a councillor or mayor who does not want to receive the allowance.

More reports from Moira Shire Council’s meeting will appear in next week’s edition.

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