AS if the $250 a day meal allowance and all the other perks were not enough, the notion has now been put out once again that Councillors on the Shoalhaven City Council should get paid as if they worked full time – and they are not asking for parity with the dole.
It seems they want wages in the vicinity of $8O,OOO a year, and more for Mayors.
Shaken but not stirred.
The idea has been floated for some time, Gareth Ward raised it about 2 years ago and the Register seems to have been right in his corner when the editor, on his Friday morning chat on 2ST, thoughtthe idea had a lot of merit.
Now the push is coming from Ward’s co-campaigner, photographer Paul Green.
“You make do on what you get but if you look at my fellow member Joanna Gash she’s on about $110-130,000 plus allowances,” Cr Green complained to the Register.
“I have no sick leave and no holiday pay. There’s just no equality compared to any other workplace that I know of,” he continued.
Mr. Green is of course correct in this. Enquiries show no other workplace gives employees free petrol to travel to work, a couple of computers at home, free meals with wine once a week and subsidised meals the rest of the time, a vehicle to take the kids to the beach.
Jo Gash and Matt Brown, federal and state members respectively, were injudicious enough to weigh in when asked about it and made cooing noises essentially saying if-then-else – statements with what is known as wriggle room. It was enough, however to allow the Register to print a first paragraph “Ratepayers would be better served if Shoalhaven city councillors were employed full-time,” though actually neither Gash nor Brown made any comment remotely like that.
In fact, nobody mentioned the ratepayers.