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Eurobodalla Councillors and Mayor vote in favour pay rise but want system to change

June 30, 2023 7:15 am in by

Eurobodalla Councillors voted in favour of increasing payments to it’s councillors and mayor after the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal determined an increase of 3% to mayoral and councillor fees from next financial year, and the state government reclassified the Eurobodalla from a ‘Regional Rural’ Council to a ‘Regional Centre’ Council due to the population swelling above 40,000.

Councillors salary will jump from $21,000 to $26,000 a year, with the maximum annual Councillor fee $26,070 and additional Mayoral fee $64,390 within the ‘Regional Centre’ category.

Eurobdoalla Mayor Matthew Hatcher told East Coast Radio he hoped it would attract more people to think about becoming a councillor.

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“The amount of work that goes into being a councillor and the mayor, I think if the community understood how much they were getting paid, no one would want to put their hand up,” Cr Hatcher said.

“That’s what we’re faced with at the moment, there’s far too little people out there wanting to do it, so hopefully this will attract more people.”

All Eurobodalla Councillors apart from Councillor Anthony Mayne, voted in favour of the increase in fees but Councillor Mayne spoke of the Bega Valley Council example where for three years in a row Bega Councillors voted against an increase with then Mayor, Kristy McBain, suggesting that councillors should not be put in a position to vote on their own pay.

Mayor Hatcher told East Coast Radio he would like to see the NSW Government remove the ability for Councillors to vote on their own pay, and essentially take it out of council’s hands.

“It shouldn’t be something we’re voting on, it should just be set, we keep stressing this, and while Councillor Mayne voted against it for that reason, I believe all Councillors not only in the Eurobodalla but across NSW feel this way,” Cr Hatcher said.

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“We voted for a three per cent increase but because we’ve been changed to a Regional Centre Council, that rise has been imposed on us by the state government,” he said.

“Until they (the state government) take it away, we have to vote on it.”

It is common practice for councillors and the mayor to be paid at the maximum fee within the assigned category.

A September budget variation of $59,506 will now be required with Councillors having adopted the maximum fees for their new category.

Councillors also voted in favour of reducing council meetings to 10 a year, meeting monthly rather than fortnightly.

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Images: Eurobodalla Shire Council

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