Cr makes lone stand against pay rise
ONLY one Tweed Shire councillor has voted against a pay rise, with others choosing to continue a tradition of accepting the maximum pay allowable.
The pay rise will provide ordinary councillors an extra $380 a year - $7.30 a week - taking their annual remuneration to $15,500.
It gives Mayor Joan van Lieshout another $1210 - $23.26 a week - and an annual pay of $49,340.
The vote on the pay rise, prompted by a NSW Local Government Remuneration Tribunal review, came just nine months after councillors campaigned for election, but the issue hit a raw nerve with some councillors.
The minium fee for councillors set by the tribunal was $7040 for councillors or $22,020 for the mayor, but Tweed councillors have traditionally taken the maximum allowed.
Neighbouring Gold Coast councillors get at least $113,000 and the mayor nearly $190,000.
Only Greens Party councillor Katie Milne voted against accepting the increase, while others declared the money they received for long hours and late-night meetings was not fair.
Cr Dot Holdom took exception to Tweed Daily News headlines on the issue last Saturday and the publication on Tuesday of letters to the editor criticising the Council vote.
“It's not Council that's electing to do these types of things. This is an independent body,” she said.
Yesterday Cr Holdom revealed she would donate the increase to charity - just as she had done when Tweed councillors last voted to accept an increase in 2005.
She said councillors did “an awful lot” for the money they are paid, but added: “I don't do it for the money and I did know what I was getting into”.
Cr van Lieshout said it was fair if councillors accepted a rate set by the tribunal.
Cr Kevin Skinner backed those comments, adding: “It's a shame we are not better paid for what we have got to do.”
“As the saying goes, if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. We are paid peanuts - that's a fact. But I'm not telling you I'm a monkey”.