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Submissions to the 2022 Local Government Annual Adjustment Determination

The Tribunal invited submissions from any person or body, including any affected person or class of affected persons, in relation to the proposed Determination.

Submissions do not necessarily reflect the views of the Tribunal and assertions made in them have not been fact-checked.

Submissions have been published in their original form and have not been corrected for publication.

The published submissions can be viewed below.

November 2022

Submission 1 - Cr Laura Binks, Mayor of Strathbogie Shire


I am writing to submit that I believe there should be a consistent wage for councillors, deputies and mayors across the whole state.

Given we are all bound by the Local Government Act 2020 and required to perform our duties accordingly, the size of our shire has no bearing on our requirements under the LGA2020 and I find the current division of councils into various categories inconsistent with other levels of government and not reflective of the enormous amount of work mayors, deputy mayors and councillors do in the smaller shires.

I appreciate that the current model is reflective of population size, but I argue that maintaining extensive road networks should be taken into consideration. Rural council are instrumental in ensuring the Victorian agricultural industry continues to be able to deliver for humanity and the state, for tourists to visit our regions for holidays and escapes in nature and to take pressure off the urban population as more people choose to live in regional and rural Victoria.

As a mayor of a shire who has been hit hard by the current floods and third La Nina summer and it’s impacts on our community, I can assure you our whole council team have worked hard to ensure our community are informed, safe and supported during this natural disaster and that we will continue to as the long period of recovery kicks in.

The majority of the shires hit by the floods are regional and rural shires, and we know from the climate modelling that it is these areas that will continue to be hit by further natural disasters due to climate change.

Finally, councils with lower wages has an impact who is willing to put their hand up for a role on council. I argue that the majority of councillors in the lower paid councils are retired members of the community or those from a financially secure background who can afford to reduce their paid work to take on a councillor role. Whilst both categories provide valuable expertise and skills on council, having a council that lacks the diversity of the community it represents does not allow for the best outcomes for the community.

I would like to see councillors, deputy mayors and mayors renumerated equally across the state to improve diversity and equality.

Kind regards,

Laura Binks

Submission 2 - de-identified

I appreciate the opportunity to make a submission.

I read very carefully your report on the Statement of Reasons in your determination on allowances earlier this year. I thought that the tribunal had a sound grasp on the greatly increased demands placed on Councillors since the last major review of allowances.

Noting this, I was flabbergasted to then read that the tribunal gave Councillors a mere $1,384 rise, noting that the previous allowances excluded superannuation, which was paid in addition, and the new allowances included superannuation. For Category 3, this meant an increase from $31,444 + $3,144 ($34,588) to $35,972.

Yet at the same time, the allowance of a Deputy Mayor inexplicably almost doubled. The role of the Deputy Mayor is only relevant where the Mayor is incapacitated. Generally at [redacted], where the Mayor has a clash and can’t make multiple events due to them running at the same time, it is a local ward councillor that is sent. Talking to my colleagues across the sector, the big discrepancy between the allowances for Councillors and Deputy Mayors has seen a sudden interest in a lot of Councillors wanting to become the Deputy Mayor, not because they’d be good in a leadership role, but because they will get paid double with very little extra commitments attached. In your Statement of Reasons, the tables with regards to survey results of time commitments for Councillors and Deputy Mayors is almost identical.

It is my strong opinion that the Tribunal missed a unique opportunity to remunerate Councillors for the large time they are required to spend reading 800+ monthly papers, attending committees, community events etc. Most residents also expect us to be on call 24/7, just like Federal and State MPs are, the difference being that our direct email address and mobile phone number are published publicly. Our residents and ratepayers assume, and expect, that we are full time. The lack of allowance is a barrier on many quality candidates putting their hand up for local government.

The current Councillor allowance is below the minimum wage and grossly inadequate for the amount of time dedicated to the role. Your statement of reasons indicates that a large number of Councillors report spending 30+ hours a week on Council matters. I strongly believe that the allowance for a Councillor should be raised to be within 10k of the Deputy Mayor’s allowance, with no change to the Mayor or Deputy Mayor allowances. This would be an appropriate allowance for Councillors, with only a 10k increase to the Deputy Mayor role which is reasonable based on my discussions with colleagues across the state in terms of the role the Deputy Mayor plays at Councils.

Kind regards,



Reviewed 21 March 2023