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REVEALED: What the Gympie mayor and CEO earn

AT THE PEAK: Council CEO Bernard Smith and Mayor Mick Curran are among the council's top earners in their respective offices.
AT THE PEAK: Council CEO Bernard Smith and Mayor Mick Curran are among the council's top earners in their respective offices. Greg Miller

UP TO $1.8 million in remuneration was handed out to Gympie Regional Council's top staff in 2016-17, a pay packet that includes $655,000 to the Mayor and councillors.

As revealed in Gympie Regional Council's annual report, Mayor Mick Curran was the top earner at $137,346 (including superannuation), up 1.8 per cent from the previous financial year.

Deputy Mayor Bob Leitch followed at $85,841, and the other seven individual councillors earned $72,963 each (including super) - 10 per cent more than what councillors reported earning in the 2013-14 financial year.

Without super, councillors earned $1253 per week, more than two-and-a-half times the region's average personal income of $479 reported in the 2016 Australian Census.

Among the top five council directors, two earned between $200,000-$299,000 and three others were paid between $100,000 and $199,999.

Complaints were up on last year, with four made about councillor conduct or performance which resulted in no further action.

One such complaint was made in the 2015-16 financial year.

One discipline order was made, with Cr Dan Stewart ordered to make a public apology for releasing information confidential to council.

Including ordinary and special meetings, Cr Curran and Cr Mal Gear attended the most with 18, while Cr Glen Hartwig attended the least at 15.

Tabled for adoption at this week's ordinary meeting, Cr Dan Stewart raised questions over an increase in council staff detailed in the report.

The council reported 496 staff this year, up from 463 last year.

Administration staff grew from 243 to 316, while depot and outdoor staff dropped from 220 to 180.

Council CEO Bernard Smith said with the restructuring of the council's Water Business Unit approximately 30 staff were brought under the office of the CEO and now classified as administration.

"Council has not had a significant increase in staff numbers, however the numbers will reflect council's move away from an employment model using external employment agencies,” Mr Smith said.

"Council have transferred these agency agreements to employment agreements in-house (as per the majority of staff), which is reflected in the numbers.”

Gympie Town Hall.
Gympie Town Hall. Craig Warhurst

Operating expenditure for the Water Business Unit was $15.3 million.

Several projects were completed by the unit included the replacement of 610 water meters and the installation of water fill stations at Corella Rd and the Imbil Showgrounds.

The council's first point of call, the customer contact centre, also proved to be popular.

According to the report, the centre received 50,700 calls last financial year (138 per day), with 78.7 per cent of them answered in less than 30 seconds.

It was an increase for both areas from 2015-16, in which 49,180 calls were received and 76.4 per cent were answered within 30 seconds.

Thirty-nine complaints were received from the community, of which 23 were fully resolved.

Of those unresolved, seven were lodged in May or June this year.

In other news that is fit to print, the council also reduced the number of printers in council offices from 105 to 51. As part of the project, colour print costs have also fallen from 12 cents per page to eight.

Topics:  annual report gympie council gympie regional council pay packets politician pay

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