Gladstone Regional Council face the media.
Gladstone Regional Council face the media.

Mayor explains why all Gladstone councillors got payrise

GLADSTONE Mayor Matt Burnett has responded to questions about councillors receiving a pay rise from July 1 which takes his salary to $158,168.

The pay rise comes despite a freeze on rates, water, waste and sewerage charges for 2020-21, which will result in no increase to council coffers from ratepayers.

“Gladstone Regional Council and all councils across Queensland, our pay is decided by an independent tribunal,” he said.

“We have always left that up to the independent tribunal to make that decision.

“Where that’s an increase or decrease, that’s their decision.

“If they choose to make that decision on an increase or a decrease, we accept that decision.”

Cr Burnett said Gladstone Regional Council accepted the fact wage decisions were taken out of council’s hands.

The pay scales of council regions across Queensland are determined by the Local Government Renumeration Commission.

“The last thing you need is councils making decisions on their pay,” Cr Burnett said.

“There was no decision made, our decision has always been whatever decision the independent tribunal makes on councillors wages, we will accept that decision.”

The payrise also takes Deputy Mayor Kahn Goodluck’s wage to $104,059, with councillors receiving $91,571.

The news comes on the back of the July vote by Rockhampton Regional Council not to accept the payrise.

In 2015, Rockhampton Council was downgraded from a category 5 (larger) council to a category four, joining Gladstone and Bundaberg.

The 2020/21 financial year will be the first that Rockhampton councillors are paid less than their Gladstone and Bundaberg counterparts.