13.8 C
Byron Shire
September 27, 2021

Byron Council pay rise request rejected

Latest News

New venues of concern in Ballina

The Northern NSW Local Health District has been notified of a number of new venues of concern associated with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Other News

Fundraising for koala signs for Bangalow

As the koala mating season has started, Bangalow Koalas has set up fundraising to create incorporate more koala road signs. Bangalow...

Cartoon of the week – 22 September, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

Biggest corporate greenwashers revealed by Greenpeace

According to a new analysis by Greenpeace, most of Australia’s highest-emitting companies that have implemented net-zero emission commitments do not have any will to meet their target.

Getting annoyed with NSW Farmers naming ‘rights’

The Annoying Vegan has become more annoyed today with what they see as the NSW Farmers getting on their high horse about the use of the words ‘meat’ and ‘milk’.

Lismore coming out of lockdown

At midnight tonight (Wednesday 22 September) lockdown will be lifted for the Lismore local government area (LGA).

Ring of steel called for as Byron and Tweed locked down – again

Councillors and members of parliament from across the region are calling for greater restrictions on who can come to the Northern Rivers and other vulnerable regional areas from COVID hotspots in NSW.

Hans Lovejoy

Councillor wages will remain at just above the Newstart allowance – and without superannuation – after the tribunal that considers expenditure within local government rejected Council’s request to be reclassified as a regional centre.

Byron Greens councillors: Mayor Simon Richardson with Deputy Mayor Sarah Ndiaye, Michael Lyon, and Jeannette Martin. Photo supplied.

Instead, Byron Shire Council will remain in the regional rural category, which attracts a lower pay grade for councillors and the mayor.

At last Thursday’s meeting, councillors voted for Cr Sarah Ndiaye’s motion to respond to the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal and write a letter of disappointment to local representatives.

All were in favour, except Nationals Party aligned councillor Alan Hunter, who voted against, without explanation.

According to a staff report, ‘The Tribunal deemed that Byron’s population of 35,081 was significantly below the indicative population of Regional Centre councils and Council was considered not to have met the criteria to warrant inclusion in the Regional Centre group’.

The staff report says councillors’ wages are capped at $20,280 pa, while the mayor receives a maximum of $44,250 pa.

Locally based upper house MLC Ben Franklin (Nationals) was asked whether he would support reclassification and legislation amendments, but instead deferred the question to the Minister for Local Government.

The Echo asked him, ‘Do you support Byron being reclassified as a regional centre, given it accommodates at least 2.2m annual visitors? Is the framework around classification of LGAs distorted in terms of impacts that visitors have?

‘Are you amenable to introducing amendments to the LG Act (or the relevant Act) to parliament so that the Tribunal would consider visitor impacts, and not just population numbers when it comes to the classification?’

What do MPs earn?

According to www. parliament.nsw.gov.au, as a member of the Legislative Council, Ben Franklin receives a base salary of $203, 030 plus an electoral allowance of between $60,000 and $80,000.

Meanwhile, local MP Tamara Smith (Greens) told The Echo, ‘It is an appalling and near sighted decision by the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal not to reclassify Byron Shire as a regional centre.

‘With 2.2 million visitors a year, and burgeoning resident and business growth, it is hard to understand the decision. Yet again, we see our lived experience as a tourist destination, not captured by the cookie cutter indices used by government to classify communities.

‘We expect a lot from our councillors, and we want themtodoagoodjobof protecting our community and to safeguard our beautiful environment. They have an enormous responsibility to the community. But how realistic is that, when they are being paid less than the old Newstart! It is a joke. Council directors [staff] are earning more than ten times what councillors are earning.

‘Councillors in Byron Shire need to be paid a living wage for the large volume of work that they are expected to
do. Greens NSW have long advocated for reasonable remuneration for all councillors in local government. The government has the power right now to take visitor impacts, and not just population numbers, into account when it comes to regional classifications’.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

4 COMMENTS

  1. A Councillors Allowance is just that – an allowance. It is not counted as work income for access to unemployment benefits, and thus for those Councillors not employed outside of Council they can access unemployment benefits (with their Council work fulfilling their Mutual Obligation requirements), so Councillors without any outside employment can presently receive $550.00 pw from Job Seeker + $400.00 pw from Council + aprox additional $200.00 pw from Council for phone, internet, travel, food etc expenses. So any Councillor without an outside job can presently receive income of aprox $1,1000.00 p.w. (which may reduce if Jobseeker payments reduce) And crying poor?. Irrespective that some of the present crop are worth paying nothing

  2. Pay peanuts get monkeys!

    At least that is what corporate executives are always telling us when they justify their remuneration packages.

    On the other hand, it is not like the current levels of remuneration for Councillors came as a surprise for the current crop.
    Smaller LGAs like Kyogle get even less than Byron.

    The original thinking was that these roles were not full-time jobs – they were supposed to be held by the wealthy who can afford to spend the time that being a Councillor demands without having their livelihoods impacted.

    Having non-wealthy normal people running the place is obviously a mistake that needs to be rectified.
    Perhaps if it were left to property developers and their ilk these complaints about the lack of pay would dry up?

  3. Argh the joys of living in Byron . I found it difficult to say the least ,with three jobs and sharing a rental I was living from hand to mouth . To many ,Byron is not a user friendly place to live . It would seem that no one is listening . What will it take to get through to Beaurocracy. I think the people need to revolt .

  4. According to the NSW Parliament website mentioned in the story above Tamara Smith is paid $169,192 plus an electorate allowance of $58,420 – that she regularly refers to as “my personal salary” when making donations of $100 or so to community groups. It’s meant to make the recipients feel somehow grateful that their taxes are being handed back to them – instead it induces feelings of awkwardness and discomfort.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Byron Bay beach party end in PINS and a charge for biting

Police say a woman has been charged and four Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) issued following a beach party in the Byron Bay area overnight.

Fundraising for koala signs for Bangalow

As the koala mating season has started, Bangalow Koalas has set up fundraising to create incorporate more koala road signs. Bangalow Koalas, who keep a watch...

Nuclear Submarines – just a foot in the door

In the next few months we will hear a lot about how superior nuclear-powered submarines are. Vice Admiral Mike Noonan is even claiming superior stealth characteristics – which is simply not true. Yes, they tend to be faster. This is great if you want to go thousands of kilometres in a matter of days. But they are also much more expensive.

Compost back on Lismore’s gardening menu

Lismore City Council says that their BIOCycle Compost is again on sale from the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre and Nimbin Transfer Station, after a two-year break.