Councillors opt for cuts to allowances

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph
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Town of Port Hedland elected members have opted to reduce their fees and allowances by 8.5 per cent for the 2017-18 financial year.

Going into the next financial year, the council has opted to pay themselves 90 per cent of the maximum Salaries and Allowances Tribunal determinations.

This will mean the Town of Port Hedland mayor, a role occupied by Camilo Blanco since November 2016, will receive close to $42,350 a year with a $79,994 allowance, while council members will receive $28,233 with Deputy Mayor Troy Melville receiving an extra $19,999 on top of that. The information and communications technology allowance, however, was left at 100 per cent of the yearly maximum of the SAT determination.

In total, the fees and allowances for elected members stood at $434,488 for the 2016-17 financial year. The Town of Port Hedland is classified by SAT as a band 1 local government, as are the cities of Karratha, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Bunbury and Greater Geraldton.

However, the Town’s co-ordinator of governance, Grace Waugh, warned in the agenda item that there is a risk that the SAT will reclassify the Town’s band level for future determinations, which in turn would impact on future fees and allowances for elected members.

She also stated in the agenda item that “the fees each councillor will receive is not a salary but a recognition of the amount of time members must put into preparing for council and committee meetings.”

The amended fees and allowances will come into affect in the new 2017-18 financial year.

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