Coun­cil’s pay rise bid is ‘dead and buried’: CEO

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

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.”

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