No happy medium for Bayside Council

No happy medium for Bayside Council

Bayside Council has been knocked back in its request to be upgraded from a medium to large metropolitan council.

The Local Government Remuneration Tribunal found that Bayside Council did not meet the combined resident population and non-resident working population criteria to be upgraded from its present Metropolitan Medium category.

But the council has decided to write to the NSW Local Government Minister, Shelly Hancock requesting review of Bayside's submission to be upgraded.

The council believes the Tribunal erred in its decision by relying on the 2016 Census information.

At the time of the census, the council had not amalgamated and was operating as two autonomous local government bodies, Botany and Rockdale.

Councils categorised as Metropolitan Large have a minimum population of 200,000. This can include more than 50,000 non-residents who work in the local government area.

" It is considered that the Tribunal has erred in its decision by not taking into consideration the 2016 census information of the combined former Rockdale and Botany local government areas which shows that the non-resident working population was 56,246," the council's report on the decision states.

"It is recommended that Council writes to the Minister for Local Government requesting that the Minister direct the Tribunal to review and make a special determination in relation to Council's submission."

An upgrading of category would also upgrade the Mayor's and other Councillors' fees.

Bayside Council has decided to adopt the maximum fee available for a Medium Metropolitan council for the mayor and councillors for 2020/21.

The annual fees set by the Tribunal for councilors for 2020/21 for Medium Metropolitan councils, including Bayside are:

Councillors minimum fee - $13,820, maximum fee - $25,790.

Mayor's minimum fee - $29,360, maximum fee - $68,530.

The fee for Large Metropolitan councils for 2020/21 are:

Councillors minimum fee - $18,430, maximum fee - $30,410.

Mayor's minimum fee - $39,160, maximum fee $88,600.

The Tribunal also determined that there is to be no increase in the minimum and maximum fees for mayors and councillors in 2020/21 for each existing category given the current economic and social circumstances.