Interim allowances have been approved for our councillors

David Braithwaite

INTERIM allowances for Wellington Shire councillors have been approved.
Until an independent tribunal makes its determination, the mayor and councillors will receive an allowance based on an annual rate of $81,204 and $26,245 respectively.
Both allowances are within the recommended level for ‘category two’ councils, of which Wellington is one 29 across the state.
Council had advertised the proposed allowances for public submission during June.
The only submission received, recommending the allowances be at least doubled to attract the best possible candidates, will be forwarded to the Victorian Independent Remuneration
Tribunal for its deliberation into councillor pay. Under the new Local Government Act, passed by state parliament last year, the responsibility for approving councillor allowances will be moved from individual councils to the Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal.
Until the tribunal determines the new allowances this year, councils will set the pay in the interim period.
Cr Gayle Maher said having appropriate allowances would encourage people from a variety of backgrounds to consider running for council.
“What’s important is that local government provides an opportunity for all participate, allowing for diversity around the table,” she said.
“It’s also needed to allow for a reasonable balance for councillors between their obligations and commitments as councillors, as well as the balance of their work and personal lives.”