IN A unanimous move, Southern Downs Regional councillors have voted against a 2.3% pay rise recommended by a Local Government Remuneration Tribunal.
The Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal, established to determine the pay and superannuation rates for mayors and councillors across the state, decided to increase the maximum pay rate for councillors by 2.3%.
Cr Jamie Mackenzie was particularly vocal on the issue during discussions in a meeting of the council this morning, stating the pay rise was "not a good look" for the council.
"We have to get the council out of our financial situation," he said.
"It may require increased borrowings, laying off staff or projects or increasing rates.
"It would not be a good look for councillors getting increased wages."
CEO David Keenan confirmed the council had missed the boat on disputing the pay rise with the tribunal and would still have to include the increase in the budget.
Cr Mackenzie questioned the Mayor on why the pay increase talk hadn't come before the council early.
"I'd like to ask the question of why didn't this come to us in January?
The Mayor confirmed it had been an oversight on his behalf.
Councillors voted unanimously to not accept the pay rise and move the 2.3% increase to other activities in the operational budget.
"That money could well be used for spending on something like an off-leash park for dogs, park maintenance or other community services," Cr Mackenzie said.
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