Pay, allowances on council agenda

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

Town of Port Hedland councillors will tonight decide on what they will be paid to attend council meetings and various other allowances.

This time last year, councillors opted to pay themselves 98.5 per cent of the maximum Salaries and Allowances Tribunal determinations. The Town of Port Hedland mayor, a role occupied by Camilo Blanco since November 2016, receives $46,350 a year with an $87,550 allowance while council members receive $30,900 with deputy mayor Troy Melville receiving an extra $21,888 on top of that.

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 along with the likes of the Cities of Karratha, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Bunbury, Greater Geraldton, Armadale and Mandurah.

In 2016-17, the City of Karratha Mayor was granted a $45,000 annual fee and and allowance of $85,000. Councillors in the city agreed on a $30,000 annual fee.

Meanwhile, the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder mayor receives only a $24,360 annual fee and a $68,500 allowance — together $41,040 less than Hedland’s mayor — and councillors a $24,360 annual fee.

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The Town of Port Hedland is the only “town” classified as band 1 — all other band 1 local government cities with the Shire of Ashburton and Shire of East Pilbara are classified as band 2, which have maximums that are either below or just above the band 1 minimums.

Officers are recommending the councillors “lead by example by setting appropriate fees and allowances”.

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