Launceston mayor Albert van Zetten. TASMANIAN mayoral and councillor allowances could soon be increased, along with a push to make superannuation for elected members mandatory.
Mayors at the association’s general meeting on Thursday voted to instigate a review into allowances, with a report to be presented at the next meeting, in February, for a decision.
It is almost eight years since mayoral and councillor allowances were reviewed by the state government and LGAT president and Clarence mayor Doug Chipman said many believed it was the right time for another review.
Launceston aldermen receive $34,002 and mayor Albert van Zetten receives $119,009, while Glamorgan Spring Bay mayor Michael Kent is entitled to $34,902.
Councillors’ allowances across the state’s 29 councils vary from $9210 to $21,960.
“It was 2008 when councillor allowances were reviewed … [and] in February next year, when we can decide whether or not to push the case,” Cr Chipman said.
“Current allowances are prescribed in regulations so we as a sector will only have an opportunity to influence it if the government decides that another review is appropriate,” he said.
“It was observed by some members that both federal and state politicians and all employers are required to pay the [superannuation] guarantee and that councillors seem to be an exemption under the Taxation Act. We will call for a report on that as well.”
Meander Valley mayor Craig Perkins said there were opportunities now for councillors to set aside a percentage of their allowance for superannuation, but it was complex.
He said some councillors and mayors had to give up income to serve their community and it would be “nice to see consistencies across all levels of government”.
It was also agreed that delegates press the state government to prevent donations to, or expenditure by, local government election candidates involving political parties which endorsed and supported a candidate — similar to those surrounding the Legislative Council.
Cr Chipman said members were against local candidates donating to political parties, if that money returned as an undeclared donation.
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