Livingstone councillors vote against pay rise
LIVINGSTONE Shire councillors today decided they would not take a pay rise for the new financial year, despite being entitled to a maximum two per cent salary increase.
Every councillor had a say on the matter before a unanimous vote was reached.
Mayor Andy Ireland told the council meeting that he would have “a great deal of discomfort” accepting a pay rise in the current economic climate.
“COVID-19 not withstanding, it’s certainly really tough times going ahead for a number of years,” Cr Ireland said.
“I have a tough time going to the community and saying ‘I’m going to take a pay increase’.
“I know that so many sectors of this community are doing it hard.
“We’ve had members of our community lose homes, lose businesses etc.”
The Local Government Remuneration Commission is responsible for deciding the maximum remuneration payable to Queensland councillors each financial year.
The commission determined Livingstone to be a “category three” local government, and as such, the mayor could be paid a maximum of $133,196 in 2020-21.
The deputy mayor was entitled to receive a maximum of $83,247 and councillors $70,759.
But today’s decision by councillors to accept no salary increase at all, means Mayor Ireland will be paid $130,584, Deputy Mayor Adam Belot $81,615, and councillors $69,372.
Before councillors voted, Cr Belot spoke in favour of leaving remuneration at the current levels.
“I’m grateful for the wage I’ve got,” he said.
“Some days you think you’re worth a lot more, because I tell you what, you do work hard for it, and I don’t mind saying that.
“And other days, you think ‘gee it’s a quiet week, I love doing this job’, like they did 30 years ago when they did it for a cup of tea and a scone.”
Cr Andrea Friend agreed with Cr Belot, saying councillors were classed as “part-time councillors”.
“All of us have separate workings outside of the council,” Cr Friend said.
“I think $69,372 is a really great wage for anybody.”