HORSHAM Rural City councillors have opted to maintain their levels of pay.
The council reviewed councillor and mayor allowances after the Government Gazette declared it a “category two” council. It was formerly “category one”.
Local Government Victoria advised the council on December 22 last year that they were altered to category two based on a points system combining population and recurrent revenue.
Five options were presented to the council at a meeting on Monday.
Councillors voted to propose no change in 2017-18 and refer it to budgetary consideration next year.
Other options included making no change to allowances for the future term of the council, increase to maximum allowances effective from the statutory meeting or increase to maximum allowances next financial year.
There were also options to phase the increase across two years or over a longer period by 7.5 per cent.
Cr David Grimble said the council had to consider the impact an increase in councillor and mayor allowances would have on the budget.
“We have found ourselves in a situation where we could amend the allowances, but I think it would be fair to consider that in reasonable light and particularly the impact on the council budget,” he said.
Director corporate services Graeme Harrison said, in a report presented to the council, that the mayoral allowance was set at $59,257 per year. He said the councillors’ allowance was $19,834 per year.
“The rates … for mayoral and councillor allowances are paid at the top of the band for category one councils,” he said.
“To increase the allowances to the maximum for category two councils, the mayoral allowance would increase by $17,264 to $76,521 and individual councillor allowances would increase by $4896 to $24,730.”
The decision to defer any change leaves rates at 80 per cent of the maximum for category two councils until the end of the financial year.