Hilltops Councillors support a pay rise for the mayor

Support: Hilltops Councillors support a pay rise for the mayor. Photo: Craig Thomson.
Support: Hilltops Councillors support a pay rise for the mayor. Photo: Craig Thomson.

The Hilltops Councils will lobby the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal asking for an increase in the mayor's pay.

General Manager Anthony McMahon has written to the tribunal asking that the Hilltops Council be recategorised from Rural to Regional Rural. 

Mr McMahon also added to calls made last year to increase the salary of serving councillors.

"The new Hilltops Council has a strong case for changing the categorisation," he said.

"The three amalgamated Councils had 25 representatives (Councillors). The Hilltops Council has 11 Councillors – half the representatives for more than double the work. 

"It is recognised that the role of Councillor has an element of 'community service' however during the local government reforms it was noted that Councillors were required to have greater oversight of the strategic direction of the Council and were to be more of a “board”. The remuneration should be reflective of this."

Mayor Brian Ingram said councillors support the call for the Council to be recategorised but want to put forward a stronger submission.

"Councillors resolved to have the submission that was put up by staff reviewed and suggested changes and more weight be added to the case," he said. "Council also suggested that a new submission include a more detailed account of the time councillors spend attending to their duties."

Councillor Wendy Tuckerman said the submission was a bit "light on".

"There isn't anything in this submission in regards to the mayor's role and how that has increased significantly," she said.

"The report doesn't talk about the more than 7,000 square kilometres the LGA covers and it also needs to emphasise the travel time spent covering one end of the shire to the other. I think we need to put forward a stronger case."

Councillor Tony Flanery said the role of the mayor is full time and backed calls to put a stronger case forward. 

"The role of the mayor is very important and I see it as almost a full-time job, he wouldn't get much time to do much else, we are lucky he has his own business because the role is almost 24/7," Cr Flanery said.

"If we want quality people to put their hands up in the future for the role we need to put forward a submission that notes it is a full-time job."

Cr Ingram said he was grateful for his fellow councillor's support but would not participate in further discussions.

“Whilst I agree with my fellow Councillors thoughts, this is a discussion that I did not and will not take part in,” he said.