The Chronicle

Our biggest spending councillor­s


MAYOR Paul Antonio has once again been revealed as the Toowoomba Regional Council’s biggest spender in the organisati­on’s latest annual report.

That new document for the 2020-21 financial year, which also highlighte­d a $15m surplus for the council, revealed the region’s elected officials spent more than $213,000 in ratepayer money on legal fees, travel, vehicles and more.

TOOWOOMBA councillor­s spent more than $213,000 in ratepayer money on council cars, travel, legal fees, accommodat­ion and other expenses during the past financial year.

The new Toowoomba Regional Council annual report for 2020-21 has detailed our elected official’s spending habits, which amount to an average of $19,000 per councillor.

The figures are disclosed in line with requiremen­ts of the Local Government Act.

Mayor Paul Antonio, who was the biggest spender by far with $42,000, billed the ratepayer for $12,000 in legal fees, $4700 in travel expenses and another $1900 for accommodat­ion.

Deputy Mayor Geoff McDonald spent the secondmost at $26,000, including $6600 in legal fees.

The 11 councillor­s spent $164,000 in local government vehicles, which was offset by $36,000 in payments from each member.

The annual report also reveals the salaries of both the elected officials and the council’s executive branch, which currently sits at $3.87m.

Mr Antonio’s remunerati­on including superannua­tion in 2020-21 cracked $200,000, while Deputy Mayor Geoff McDonald was paid $139,000.

The other nine councillor­s were paid $121,000.

While the executive team’s specific wages are hidden, CEO Brian Pidgeon’s annual salary sits between $400,000 and $500,000, while two senior managers are in the $300,000 to $400,000 bracket.

Another six are paid up to $300,000.

The report also revealed the council received 46 complaints by members of the public regarding the activity of councillor­s and officers during the past financial year, 38 of which were reviewed.

Fourteen complaints were still unresolved and have been carried over to this financial year.

For a full breakdown of expenses, head online to thechronic­

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