Katherine Town Council elected members have voted to pass an almost 14 per cent pay rise for their duties as aldermen ahead of the upcoming election in August.
Despite one vote in opposition, from July 1 the council aldermen will be paid $22,206.86 per year, $36,473.02 will be paid to the Deputy Mayor and $98,641.07 will be paid to the Mayor.
The current council will be in their seats for about two of the increased pay cycles before the newly elected members begin in their roles following the August 2021 election.
Alderman Peter Gazey said it was for this reason he put forward the initial recommendation - which was ultimately voted in - that elected members should be paid 100 per cent of the allowance.
As it stands, elected member allowances for the 2020 to 2021 financial year were set at 85.78 per cent of the maximum amount an alderman can be paid under the NT's Ministerial Guidelines.
"This payment rate will come into effect in July and will affect the incoming council, it will only affect us for a minimal amount of time," Mr Gazey said at Tuesday night's Ordinary Council Meeting.
The incoming council will be able to reduce the amount set by the current council, but not increase it.
"For this purpose I elect we put it at its highest rate," Mr Gazey said.
"I think it would be wrong for us to choose what the next council will be paid.
"When we are making this decision we do have to think about how it will impact the budget... But it will allow the new council to come in, review it and reduce it in their first meeting."
To be fair we shouldn't penalise them as an incoming council and not let them lower it.Alderman Peter Gazey
Katherine's elected members are among some of the lowest paid council members in the Northern Territory. The Mayor's wage sits at $84,616.13, the Deputy Mayor's at $31,287.18 and aldermen are paid $19,049.40.
The council members are not paid an extra meeting allowance, and did not vote to see that come into play for the July 1 changes.
Alderman Matt Hurley voted against a pay rise, but did not elaborate on a reason at the council meeting.
A correction was made to this article - 'I elect we put it at its highest rate': Council votes in pay rise - on Tuesday March 22, updating figures previously miscalculated.
The article previously stated the aldermen's pay increase would amount to $31,213.50. However the correct amount is $22,206.86.
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