A pay rise for NSW politicians will purchase groceries and goods for farmers after Orange’s State and Federal members both committed to donating their wage increases.
Member for Orange Philip Donato announced on Monday that he will donate his 2.5 per cent salary increase – totaling $2466 after tax – to support drought-relief charity Aussie Helpers, at the same time calling on his regionally-based NSW and Federal parliamentary colleagues to do likewise.
Member for Calare Andrew Gee – Mr Donato’s predecessor – answered that call, pledging his own increase to the cause.
Mr Donato said he was proud to support Aussie Helpers, arguing they and similar organisations are “now doing the job of the government”.
VIDEO: Member for Orange Philip Donato’s challenge …
“That’s why I will be donating the full 2.5 per cent of the government’s pay rise from my pay cheque to supporting our farmers,” he said.
“If the elected regional National and Liberal MPs truly represent farmers, and the communities of rural and regional Australia as they claim to, then they should now lead as they were elected to do, and lead by example.
“I call on them to put their money where their mouth is.”
Following an enquiry from Central Western Daily, Mr Gee said he would follow Mr Donato’s lead.
“I will be happy to donate the amount of the Federal pay increase,” Mr Gee said.
NSW deputy premier John Barilaro called Mr Donato’s announcement “appalling”, and issued a challenge of his own to Orange’s Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party representative.
“People all over Australia give generously to charity every day and no one deserves to be dictated to about how they choose to give,” Mr Barilaro said.
“What’s more, most people who do give, do so with grace, instead of trying to seek attention.
Most people who do give, do so with grace, instead of trying to seek attention.NSW deputy premier John Barilaro
“If Mr Donato wants to compare what we each donate to charities, he should contact me direct and I would be more than happy to discuss my record with him privately.”
NSW politicians were handed a 2.5 per cent pay rise as of July 1, as well as an increase in their travel and office entitlements.
The rise will boost a NSW state MP’s base salary from $161,040 to $165,066 a year.
Their Federal counterparts were given a 2 per cent salary increase at the start of this financial year, lifting their base salary from $203,000 to $207,000.