Richmond Valley, Kyogle and Lismore Councils took hay and water to Narrabri farmers.
Richmond Valley, Kyogle and Lismore Councils took hay and water to Narrabri farmers. Susanna Freymark

Councillor allowances to bolster drought relief

SAVINGS from unspent councillor allowances will go toward relief efforts to help drought-stricken communities.

Ballina Shire Council discussed a notice of motion put forward by councillor Nathan Willis at today's general meeting.

Cr Willis said Cr Phil Meehan had encouraged him to increase the council's donation to a total of up to $5000, bolstered by unspent funds which had been allocated to the councillors' allowances.

This is in addition to a proposed $2000 from the community donations budget which had not yet been fully allocated.

"Various councillors will spend all or some or not all (of their allowance)," Cr Willis said.

"We do have money there.

"I think there's been an effort from councils across the region to respond to the drought and I think it's appropriate the Local Government Areas across the region do what we can.

"I think it's an appropriate use of funds."

Cr Meehan said it was an appropriate act for the council.

"I think it's important for us to be seen as putting up, we're not just saying to the community 'we're putting up some of your money'," Cr Meehan said.

Cr Sharon Cadwallader also welcomed the motion, which was unanimously supported.

"I think it's terrific, particularly when our neighbouring councils are doing something," Cr Cadwallader said.

The decision will see Ballina join the Lismore, Richmond Valley and Kyogle councils in supporting the drought relief effort.