Council’s pay rise bid is ‘dead and buried’: CEO
WHITSUNDAY Regional Council’s Chief Executive Officer Barry Omundson says the council’s application to jump council categories is “dead and buried”.
In November last year councillors elected to make a submission to the Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal.
If successful, the council would have switched from a category 4 to category 5 council.
Had this happened the mayor’s wage would have increased from $120,226 to $142,769, while councillors’ wages would have risen from $63,870 to $82,655.
Mr Omundson cited the need for the council to attract a better calibre of employee as a reason to move up a category.
Other reasons included the council’s success in attracting Chinese investment to Airlie Beach and its performance compared with other councils operating as category 5.
This was the fourth time Whitsunday Regional Council had made the application and Mr Omundson said he was not surprised by the latest rejection.
“We knew we were up against it,” he said.
Despite the performance claims made by the council and some favourable feedback from the community, there was also strong community opposition to the jump.
A total of 118 community submissions were lodged in objection to the category shift.
Mr Omundson denied councillors’ pay rises would be funded by ratepayers.
“Perhaps we didn’t explain ourselves well enough,” he said.
“Community opposition was a factor in the tribunal knocking it back.”