Paroo councillors decide on potential pay rise
PAROO Shire councillors have rejected an increase to their own salaries, in the council's first general meeting post-election.
All five councillors agreed to keep their pay at the same level for the third year running, meaning the mayor's salary will sit at $88,042.
The deputy mayor will receive $42,987 and councillors will receive a base rate of $22,498.
New mayor Suzette Beresford told the Western Times council determined it would be inappropriate to give themselves a pay rise in the current economic climate.
"I understand the previous council had taken a lesser amount mainly due to the drought and its influences on the local economy," Cr Beresford said.
"This time, while we've got a little bit of easing of the drought, the local economy still hasn't picked up because of the lack of tourist season, and local businesses are struggling.
"So we as councillors felt it wasn't appropriate to take any sort of pay rise, and left it at the reduced rate that is was for the last year."
Cr Beresford has been on the Paroo Shire Council since 2018, and during that time councillors' remuneration has stayed the same.
By keeping it at the continued lower rate, the five councillors are saving ratepayers $107,503 in the next financial year.
If they were to take the increase, which is recommended by the Local Government Remuneration Commission each year, their salaries would have increased to:
Mayor - $108,222
Deputy Mayor - $62,435
Councillors (base rate) - $36,073
Each year, the LGRC decides on a recommended maximum salary for local councillors, based on the Consumer Price Index.
Local governments have the option to accept the maximum recommended salary, or set their own below that rate when it is published each year.
Most will vote on the change each December, before it comes in to effect at the start of every new financial year.
Councils which don't vote on the raise will automatically receive what is recommended by the LGRC.