Mingenew Council votes against super

Edward ScownGeraldton Guardian
Shire of Mingenew chief exectuve Nils Hay..
Camera IconShire of Mingenew chief exectuve Nils Hay.. Credit: Kelsey Reid

Mingenew Shire councillors have voted against paying themselves superannuation.

The WA Local Government Association released a draft policy to all local governments in September, with the position that it should be a requirement to pay into councillors’ superannuation funds.

Councils were asked for feedback on the issue before the policy is presented to Parliament to amend the Local Government Act.

Shire of Mingenew chief executive Nils Hay said the council’s 4-1 vote against the policy was a matter of principle.

“They feel it would be unnecessary or inappropriate to take super ...the position they hold is voluntary, as a service to the community,” he said.

Currently, an individual councillor can choose to sacrifice a portion of their payment into a super fund.

However it is not a requirement of the Shire to pay super on top of that allowance, as it would for a regular employee.

Councillors in Mingenew receive less than $4000 per year in allowances, while City of Greater Geraldton councillors are paid $32,000.

Mr Hay expects disparities like this will make for an “interesting debate” between rural and metropolitan councils.

“For our councillors, we’re probably only talking about a few hundred dollars ... some local governments have presidents making $50,000 to $100,000 a year. I imagine they would want to treat it more like a salary,” he said.

If the proposal did go through, it would cost the Shire of Mingenew an additional $3870. A pittance for a large local government, but a much bigger hit for a rural shire.

“That’s money that could re-paint a building, or install a new piece of playground equipment,” Mr Hay said.

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