Councillors take pay cut in stride
A DECISION by the Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal to significantly reduce Gympie Regional councillors' wages has been met with a philosophical attitude.
"I do not necessarily agree with it but it's a remuneration tribunal decision and we have to get on with it," Mayor Ron Dyne said.
Thursday's decision to remove GRC from a category 5 to a category 4 was based on a number of factors, including population, budget, staff numbers and councillor numbers, and while Cr Dyne did not have a problem with being taken out of category 5, he thought category 4 should be split into two.
"I understand the logic of coming out of 5 but when you look at councils in category 4 there should be two elements because Gympie Regional Council's population and budget are well up on other councils in category 4," he said.
Deputy Mayor Tony Perrett said Gympie was "on the edge" of categories 4 and 5 when amalgamation happened and "there's not a lot we can do about it".
"There's no chance to make representation. That's the way the cookie crumbles."
Councillor Ian Petersen was just as philosophical: "They make the rules and we have to live by them. That's the way it is."
Councillor Larry Friske was initially lost for words, then said: "It's galling when the government holds GRC as a shining example of what a council should be and we are told by the flood recovery people that we are way ahead of other areas and that we did everything right and then we get a kick in the guts for our efforts. It leaves a nasty taste in my mouth."
Councillor Rae Gate said it was "disappointing" the tribunal did not see Gympie as the growing region it was, but she still planned to run at the next election.