28 October 2012

Elected Member Allowances

You may have read the article on this in the Eastern Courier last week. The link to the allowances for the last financial year is;
http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Members%20Allowance%20%20Benefits%20Register1Jan-31Mar12.pdf . Scroll to page 2 and you will get the yearly results. Councillors remuneration is set by the Sate government, this is the amount in the first column. Councillors are paid an additional sum for being on the Development Assessment panel or Chairing the City Strategy meeting. If we had a Dept Mayor they would also be paid more. Councillors are also allowed to attend conferences, claim child care fees and are supplied with a computer, fax and ipad with internet access and a paid phone line if they choose. This does not show the sitting fees paid to the Councillors on the Centennial Park Board. The other column is mostly meals served before meetings and a glass of red after a meeting, so the $1450.39 paid for about 100 meals and the same number of reds. My communication bill (and Cr Salaman's as well) is much lower as I do not believe that I need a separate line as the internet is now wireless and so Council does not pay for my phone calls; I could claim the cost if I wished but would rather have it  as a tax deduction. I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.


  1. Jennie I was staggered by the allowances paid.
    You seem to be one of the more modest ones.
    Good on you.

  2. Dear Jennie
    I am concerned about amount of allowance paid to Councillors.
    What sort of work do you do to get the allowance?
    Is there an audit of entitlement for the allowance?
    ie. do we get bang for buck?

  3. The amount of $14,000 is set by the state government and reviewed each year. This amount was arrived at after extensive consultation. I spend beteen 15 and 20 hours each week on Council duties, this amounts to under $20/hour. In any one week I attend meetings(3-5 hours), attend workshops (1-2 hours)and read complex agendas and prepare responses suitable for debate including suitable amendments(5+ hours). I also respond to and initiate emails from Council staff and the community (5+ hours). I visit residents and talk through issues, take photographs of problem areas(dumped rubbish, hazards in the footpaths, half dead trees, etc)(2-3 hours). I also make and receive phonecalls from staff and constituents (2 hours). I usuall underestimate the amount of time I spend on Council duties. I love doing this work and you will rarely hear a complaint from me about the work load. Do we get bang for your buck? I guess thats in the value that residents put in the work that we do.