INCREASES to councillors’ salaries will take a cut as part of Orange City Council’s budget discussions tonight.
When the operational/delivery program 2014-18 was exhibited in March, it included a 3 per cent increase.
However, the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal has since limited the increase to 2.5 per cent.
In the 2013-14 year, councillors earned $17,430 and mayor John Davis received $55,650, including his councillor fee and a mayoral loading.
In 2014-15, this will become $17,930 for councillors and $57,040 for Cr Davis.
The rates are the highest allowed for rural regional councils.
Cr Davis said he supported taking the highest rate.
“If you don’t you’re possibly excluding those people [from being councillors] - they might not be able to do the job,” he said.
“I believe the community at large know the councillors really do a lot more work than what they get paid for.”
However, he said he did not support increases beyond state government limits.
“It puts pressure on council operations - we should not put on an increase bigger than is absolutely necessary,” he said.
Finance committee chair and deputy mayor Chris Gryllis said councillors did not enter public service for the money.
“When I was first elected, it was nothing like it is now - we were paid $30 a meeting and we had to attend that meeting to be paid,” he said.
“If that’s the amount of the increase, I don’t think we can do anything about it - we can’t argue with the state government.”
Councillor Ash Brown agreed.
“I’d be happy to keep [my salary] as it is,” he said.
Councillor Ron Gander, who is otherwise retired, said CPI increases were adequate.
“Salaries shouldn’t reduce or increase the productiveness of the council,” he said.