Council annual report released

By Jeremy Sollars

Remuneration packages for the Southern Downs Regional Council’s four most senior staff for the 2018-2019 financial year were in the range of $900,000 to $1.3 million, the latest council annual report shows.

The 2018-2019 annual report – adopted by councillors at their October monthly meeting – does not list specific salary details for chief executive officer (CEO) David Keenan and department directors Joanne Morris, Jane Stroud and Seren McKenzie but instead provides a ‘remuneration range’ listed under the heading ‘Senior Contract Employee Remuneration Packages’.

The report states “three senior contract employees” had a “total remuneration package in the range of $200,000 to $299,999”, and “one senior contract employee” had a “total remuneration package in the range of $300,000 to $399,999”.

Ms Morris is Director of Corporate and Community Services, Ms Stroud is Director of Sustainable Development and Ms McKenzie is Director of Infrastructure Services.

Between them, Mr Keenan and the three directors oversee management of the council’s workforce, which as of the end of last financial year comprised 370 FTE’s or full-time equivalent staff, of which 87 per cent were permanent employees and the remainder casual and temporary.

The annual report shows the council’s total wages bill for 2018-2019 was $24.6 million, as compared with $22.2 million for the previous financial year.

The report states the council’s budget surplus for 2018-2019 came in at $14.5 million, down from $20.1 million in 2017-2018, and also lists the following specifics as “major movements from 2017-2018 compared to 2018-2019” –

• General rates (before discount) increased by $1.11m to $31.82m

• Levies and utility charges increased by $727k to $25.96m

• Interest received from investments increased by $205k to $1.55m

• Sales revenue, including contract and recoverable works, decreased by $347k to $3.3m

• Grants, subsidies and contributions decreased by $1.4m to $21.62m

• Materials and services increased by $3.03m to $30.4m

• Finance costs decreased by $54k to $1.49m

Councillor expenses…

Gross remuneration for the Mayor and Councillors (not including employer superannuation) for 2018-2019 was as follows –

• Mayor Tracy Dobie – $127,805

• Deputy Mayor Jo McNally – $79,877

• Councillors (Gow, Kelly, McNichol, Meiklejohn, Pennisi, Stocks and Windle) – $67,895 each

Reimbursements (councillors’ telephone allowances) were listed as follows –

• Cr Marika McNichol – $1200

• Cr Neil Meiklejohn – $828

• Cr Vic Pennisi – $1200

• Cr Yve Stocks – $780

Councillor expenses (ie ‘professional development needs and conferences including mandatory and discretionary training, travel costs, accommodation, meals and transfer expenses’) were listed as follows –

• Mayor Tracy Dobie – $2783

• Deputy Mayor Jo McNally – $548

• Cr Rod Kelly – $1555

• Cr Neil Meiklejohn – $2227

To view the full 2018-2019 Annual Report visit and click on the ‘Council’ and ‘Publications’ links…

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