Councillor 2015 rise in line with CPI: Tribunal

A PAY rise of 2.3% from July 1 next year will bring Southern Downs councillors an annual salary of $63,870 including superannuation, if adopted in January.

Mayor Peter Blundell's pay package would come in at $120,226, while Deputy Mayor Ross Bartley would earn $75,141, both including superannuation.

The maximum pay rises, recommended by the Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal, are in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), unlike the 4.5% increase last year.

Council is expected to vote on the recommended rises at its January meeting and councillors can elect to receive less than the recommended maximums.

In its decision to recommend a 4.5% increase for the 2014-2015 financial year, the tribunal cited the State Government's intention to give councils "greater autonomy and responsibility".

Under the 2015-2016 rates Cr Blundell's salary would rise by $2702, Cr Bartley's by $1962 and the other councillors by $1436.

Councillors receive 12% superannuation in addition to their base salary and are entitled to claim expenses such as travel.

Councils are split into categories based on their size to determine councillors' pay, with Brisbane mayor Graham Quirk set to pocket $243,507 in base salary next year.

In contrast Goondiwindi mayor Graeme Scheu, whose council is in the lowest category, is likely to receive $97,684.

Mayor Blundell yesterday said he and the other councillors had not yet had the chance to review the tribunal report and would do so "at the appropriate time".

"I understand it's always a sensitive issue and we will need to sit down and discuss if we accept the increase or otherwise," Cr Blundell said.

"I don't think most people go into council motivated by money in any case - this is about having input into the future of our communities."

The online agenda posted for next week's December monthly meeting of the Southern Downs Regional Council does not include remuneration as an item.

In a statement issued as part of its yearly report the tribunal said factors considered in determining the 2015 recommendation included "the CPI increase for Brisbane of 2.6% and the weighted average for the eight capital cities of 2.3%" as at September 30.

Also considered were "increases in the weekly ordinary time earnings in Queensland for 2013-2014 of 1.1% for all industries and 2.4% for the public sector".

Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale told the Queensland Times if voters "don't feel that the politicians they are paying for are giving a return on investment, replace them."

The Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal report notes it investigated nine complaints about councillor official misconduct from across Queensland between December 2013 and November 2014.

None of the complaints involved Southern Downs councillors and no action was taken on any complaint.

The next council elections are due in March 2016.

Read the full tribunal report at

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