Council CEO wage rises

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At a time when we're being urged to tighten our belts are our local councils doing the same?

Not according to these residents...

“It's absolutely astronomical, it's not on!”

They're outraged at having to pay an extra $36,000 a year to Onkaparinga CEO Jeff Tate.

“There's a lot more that the council could be spending the money on than CEO's wages like roads and infrastructure,” says rate payer Jon.

The council endorsed rise brings Mr Tate's salary package to $285,000 a year... that's almost a 15 per cent hike which according to these southerners is out of touch.

“What we want is not to pay ridiculous amounts of money to CEO's of councils… it's wrong, it's not justified in any way when workers are losing their jobs,” says Jon.

The council on the other hand says the rise is a warranted given the size of the district and the Local Government Association president Felicity-Ann Lewis supports the move.

“Probably if you compare with our interstate counterparts than we're getting really good value for money,” says Felicity.

We'll let you be the judge of that... in the past year most local government CEO's have received between a ten to fifteen thousand dollar rise, pushing most salaries well over the $200,000 mark.

“That's immoral, in fact some CEO's are getting paid more than some permanent heads of some government departments,” says John Darley.

Both independent MLC John Darley and Holdfast Bay Mayor Ken Roland want to put a stop to what they consider to be a battle for salary status.

“If this leap frogging continues it will get totally out of hand and we must get some accountability and in my view the only answer is a tribunal,” says Ken.

“It's only this competitive influence that's pushing up salaries,” says John.

Campbelltown CEO Paul Di lulio recently accepted a $25,000 rise and new Adelaide CEO Peter Smith is sitting comfortably on a cool $335,000 package... $75,000 more than his predecessor.

“I think the supposition that some CEO's in big council's should be paid more is wrong,” says Ken.

“Here we have the bloated local government authorities just pumping up salaries it's definitely not fair,” says John.

Mr Darley says amalgamating Adelaide's 19 metro councils to three or four would not only make more sense but would save some serious dollars.

“If you only had one CEO, as Brisbane does, there's a saving in the order of $7 million a year alone,” says John.

And while the LGA doesn't support amalgamations, it does support its head honchos saying offering less pay would attract a lower standard of applicants for the roles.

“They work seven days a week often have weekend commitments, out of hours, most of the meetings are in after hours time,” says Felicity.

“Some CEO salaries can be compared to that of the Prime Minister's, now do you think that's fair?

“I do because it's a business after all.”

A business funded by us.

“And as for this a lot of work, it's the same old thing… they all maintain roads, footpaths, curbing and lighting,” says John.

“No, they are not worth it!” adds ratepayer Jon.

And will it be worth it for the councillors and mayors who vote for the increases?

“When the next council elections come around you can bet your bottom dollar we'll be here in force!”

Perhaps they're the ones who will ultimately pay the price.

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