Leeton Shire Council sets maximum payment for councillors, mayor

A SIMPLE trip to the supermarket is not always that easy when you’re a Leeton shire councillor. 

Councillors are often pulled up in their everyday lives by concerned community members to discuss issues important to them, but that isn’t all they do. 

As the role of a councillor becomes a more professional one, the amount they are paid each year continues to slightly increase. 

Every year Leeton Shire Council votes on whether councillors should receive the minimum or the maximum amount for their service. 

It is tradition for council to allocate the maximum funds, which in this case for the 2017-18 financial year will be $11,570 for each councillor.  

Mayor Paul Maytom will be paid $25,250 for his service in that role. 

Former councillor Des Driscoll had no issue with the fees being paid. 

“Some of them, I don’t know what they are doing, but I don’t begrudge the fees being paid,” he said. 

“It’s not just turning up to a council meeting once a month. 

“There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes.”

The fees payable to councillors are set by the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal. 

Last year councillors received $11,290 for their services, while mayor Maytom received $24,630. 

“The mayor’s job should be paid that much … it’s a full-time job itself,” Mr Driscoll said. 

Well-known Leeton shire volunteer John Gavel agreed and said many councillors didn’t go into the job expecting any payment. 

“As far as I know, a lot of them choose to not even take the money,” he said. 

“Many of them wouldn’t even consider the fact they are paid an amount when they are thinking of putting their hand up. 

“They do it to help the community. I think that’s just the way Leeton is.

“It is a very important job they do, so there should be some sort of reimbursement.”