How much should our councillors get paid?
PAYMENTS for Kyogle councillors are on the agenda at tonight's monthly council meeting.
A report seeking to determine the level of councillor remuneration for the 2019/2020 financial year will be handed down by general manager Graham Kennett.
The Local Government Remuneration Tribunal sets the range of fees for all councillors and mayors in NSW each year for each category of council.
Councils are required to fix and pay an annual fee based on the tribunal's determination. If the council does not fix a fee, then the minimum must be paid.
Kyogle is classified as a rural council.
Councillors in this category are paid a minimum fee of $9190 up to a maximum of $12,160. The mayor is paid an additional fee, ranging between $9780 and $26,530.
The recommendation is for Kyogle councillors to be paid the maximum of $12,160 and the maximum for Mayor Danielle Mulholland of $26,530, bringing her remuneration to a total of $38,690.
Another item dominating the meeting agenda is a recommendation focused on the future support of Kyogle local farmers.
Following local drought affected farmers expressing concerns, Cr Robert Dwyer will recommend the council requests the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud, MP, include the Kyogle Local Government Area in the Australian Government's Drought Communities Program.
The Drought Communities Program Extension was announced in October 2018 with the initial list of 40 eligible councils in NSW including the adjacent Tenterfield Shire Council.
Mayor Danielle Mulholland will further recommend the council investigates the parameters of the election promise by the Coalition to resume 15,000kms of regional roads back from councils, with a view to submitting for consideration Bentley Road, Kyogle Road, Clarence Way and Mount Lindesay Road.
However, it will depend on a State Government commitment to maintaining and upgrading these roads currently administered by the council, and under a suitable contractual arrangement the council delivers the works for the NSW Government.
Prior to the 2019 State election, the Coalition committed to taking back 15,000km of regional roads from local councils.
Given Kyogle Council's limited capacity to maintain and upgrade Bentley Road, Kyogle Road and the Clarence Way within current budgetary restrictions, there is a need to transfer these key roads to the State.
However, there is an opportunity for Kyogle Council to undertake the works to an acceptable standard.
The recently released freight study funded by the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation, Southern Cross University and Regional Development Australia in conjunction with industry leaders, identifies the importance of alternative freight routes, including the Clarence Way, and connecting roads, which gives the proposal momentum.