Ring ching ching

FORMER Vincent councillor Dudley Maier has criticised his colleagues’ $3500 telecommunications allowance as too generous.

“I think that’s excessive and in some ways could be a rort,” he told them from the public gallery at the last meeting.

Telstra’s top plan with unlimited talk, text, and 3GB of data a month runs to $1608.

The allowance includes faxes and a scattering of other IT paraphernalia.

If someone goes above the $3500 they can claim with receipts. The salaries and allowances tribunal which determines pay rates opposes allowances being used as a de facto “top up” pay.

The councillors also voted to bump up their salary three per cent to the new maximum cap ($22,660 each). The deputy mayor will now get 25 per cent of the mayor’s wage, instead of 20 per cent, meaning another $3090 a year.

Mayor John Carey says Cr Ros Harley has attended the vast majority of civic events with him and the increase is justified.

Cr Josh Topelberg recorded the sole vote against the item.

Across the border at Perth city council, there was almost an air of fatalism as councillors voted themselves a similar pay increase. The words “it’s SAT determined,” were murmured, as if they were reluctant to be paid more but, sadly, didn’t have a choice.


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