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The Mayor and Councillors of Longreach Regional Council have decided not to accept the full pay-rise recommended by the Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal, following careful deliberation at Council’s February meeting in Ilfracombe last Thursday.

There will be a minor increase, with the Councillors deciding that the Mayor should be rewarded for his hard work, but pressures on the economy and Council’s budget meant it was not feasible to accept the recommendations of the independent tribunal in full.

The Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal convene each year to make recommendations on the level of remuneration offered to elected members. Longreach Regional Council is a category one council, the lowest paid category at the tribunal, and is currently paying 23% lower than recommended levels – a gap that grows each year.

Councillors decided it was important to accept part of the tribunal’s recommendation in order to avoid a shock to the budget in the future.

Longreach Regional Council Mayor Ed Warren said it was important that remuneration reflect the performance of Council.

“It’s very humbling to be valued by my colleagues for the work I do, but it’s important that together we continue to offer value to the community.

“That’s what being on Council is about – delivering for the community. I’m proud of our achievements so far and I think people recognise the work we’re doing.”

Under the adopted remuneration the Mayor will receive $101,000 per annum – close to the tribunal recommendation of $101,631. The Deputy Mayor will receive $49,000 – well short of the recommended $58,633. Councillors will receive $42,000 – and not $50,815 as recommended.

Councillors receive two thirds of their salary as a base rate, with the other third to be paid based on attendance at meetings. The new rates take effect on July 1.