Rather than winning a pay rise, Katherine’s Mayor appears to have been underpaid for years.
Included in last week’s spending plans for next year is a $21,236 rise in the Mayor’s allowance, to a total of $93,296.
There was immediate social media criticism of the move, especially with rates set to rise 7.5 per cent.
But a survey of other NT councils found the Katherine Mayor was being paid well below not only the allowances offered by other councils, but that recommended by the NT Government.
The Mayor’s salary and the proposed rate rise will be discussed with the first look at the draft municipal plan at a special council meeting in Katherine tonight.
Allowances are set annually by the Minister for Housing and Community Services.
The upper limit for Category Four councils which includes Katherine, Victoria Daly, Roper Gulf, Litchfield and others has an upper limit of almost $97,000.
Darwin is category one and the mayor can be paid $156,000.
The City of Palmerston Mayoral Allowance is $111,420.67 for 2018/19.
While not all councils have yet responded to our request for their council allowances, Roper Gulf has confirmed its mayor is paid a total of $96,026.
Litchfield’s mayor is paid a total of $92,934.
Katherine Mayor Fay Miller was paid a total of $72,060 last year, well short of what her colleagues in similar councils were being paid.
Social media criticism of the move was centred on the need to pay the Mayor more in a year when rates are going to continue to increase higher than CPI after consecutive years of nine per cent rises.
Residents can comment on the draft municipal plan until June 5.