COSTLY: Payments to two acting mayors and an acting deputy increased the cost of representatives.
COSTLY: Payments to two acting mayors and an acting deputy increased the cost of representatives. Hayden Johnson

Revolving door of councillors costs ratepayers $1m plus

THE revolving door of Ipswich City Council mayors has resulted in a $1.5 million bill to ratepayers.

Between June 30, 2017, and July 1 this year, the chaos within Ipswich City Council created a game of musical chairs.

Within one financial year residents of the city paid for two acting mayors and an acting deputy, in addition to the regular salaries of a mayor and deputy mayor.

It meant councillors' remuneration (wages and superannuation) cost the city $1,514,615; $129,827 more than last year.

The data is contained in Ipswich City Council's 2017-2018 Annual Report, released at Christmas.

"A number of councillors held the additional positions of mayor, deputy mayor, acting mayor and acting deputy mayor as reflected in the remuneration totals," the report noted.

After the resignation of mayor Paul Pisasale in June 2017, Paul Tully assumed the acting mayor role and Cheryl Bromage the acting deputy mayor.

The higher duties netted the pair $151,990 and $135,045 respectively in total remuneration.

When mayor Andrew Antoniolli stood down on May 3, Wayne Wendt assumed the acting mayor's role.

Mr Wendt was granted back pay for his two months in the top role while Mr Antoniolli was on full pay.

As acting mayor between May and August and deputy from August 2017, Mr Wendt's pay totalled $144,778.

Six regular councillors were paid about $131,309 in total remuneration for the financial year; about $2500 more than the previous financial year.

Councillors' remuneration increases are independently set by the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal.

About 12 per cent of councillors' total remuneration is superannuation.

Councillors were also reimbursed "for costs incurred in maintaining a mayoral or divisional office and representing the city in their elected role".

Reimbursements included travel, accommodation, entertainment and other expenses.

David Pahlke was reimbursed $34,508; Paul Tully, $28,884; Andrew Antoniolli, $26,461 and Wayne Wendt, $18,925.