Councillors vote for pay rise
COUNCILLORS voted to give themselves a pay rise at the monthly council meeting in Bowen last Wednesday.
All seven Whitsunday Regional Councillors voted in favour of the motion to increase their salaries by 0.5 per cent per year.
This means mayor Mike Brunker will be earning $118,320 per year, up $620 from last year’s salary and $1560 from the start of his term in 2008.
Deputy mayor Rogin Taylor took a pay increase of $320 to $76,680 per year.
The other five councillors will be earning $66,170, also up $320 on last year.
Council’s Financial Services manager Oliver Pring said the increase since the start of the councillors’ term in 2008 was relatively low.
"When you start comparing to the amounts when councillors first began their term then you would have to say that a 1.3 per cent increase over three years is a little low, not even covering CPI," he said.
Cr Brunker said the councillors voted to receive the increase because their annual amalgamation bonus of $10,000 decreased by $2500 each year over four years and was coming to an end which would mean their annual salary was significantly lower. He said the councillors deserved their pay rise even though some ratepayers would disagree.
"When I was in council in 1997 and was on $35,000 per year people still whinged about my pay then," he said.
"We are there to do a job and I think we do a great job.
"People will see the work of this council in the future."
Mackay Regional Council voted in December on their salaries – and chose not to take a pay rise.
All Mackay councillors voted against the pay rise.
Mayor Mike Brunker said each council was entitled to make their own decisions. "Each council is different," he said.
"At the end of the day we decide for the Whitsundays."