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An interesting day at Council for December 10th

The Public Forum prior to the Eurobodalla Council meeting will have nine speakers Commencing at 9:30am each speaker will have seven minutes t present on issues that will come up at the Ordinary Meeting that folows at 11am While the Public Forum is not live screened to the internet those unable to attend the Council meeting at 11am can still enjoy watching live or at a later point as the meetings are recorded and archived. Of interest to watch will be the following items on the agenda that each have presenters for the earlier forum session. Improved Impound Facilities Bushfire Fuel Reduction Protocols Re-Instatement of Specialist Continence Nursing Position in Eurobodalla Shire One Hospital Code of Conduct Complaints Statistics Report New Risk Management and Internal Audit Framework (OLG) Terms of Reference Other items of interest to watch will be Mogo Toilets Given the support now offered by the local State Member, Ms Matthews on behalf of the signatories to the petition, has requested, that a motion be put forward to ask that council seek funding to facilitate the building of toilets in the location sought, specifically in the John Street reserve. Dividend from Water and Sewer budgets Councillor McGinlay has revealed that Eurobodalla ratepayers have been overcharged for their water and sewer to the order of $6,887,000 over the last decade. One item of considerable interest for the Beagle is the Proposed Classfication Model from Remuneration Tribunal being put up by the General Manager, The purpose of this report is to seek endorsement of a draft submission to the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal for the review of the 2020 annual determination with regards to classification model and criteria. Section 239 of the Local Government Act requires the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal to determine the categories of councils and mayoral offices at least every three years. The alarm word here is Remuneration. Eurobodalla is proposed to be categorized as Regional Rural. The General Manager says that Eurobodalla staff support the addition of the Regional Centre category. This additional category apparently ensures that remuneration for Councillors and Mayors within this category better reflects the issues they need to consider. The reason that staff are recommending a reclassification is due to Eurobodalla’s ability to meet many of the criteria for Regional Centre. The Tribunal is responsible for determining the minimum and maximum fee level for each category in the categorization structure. The range of fees payable to the proposed new category of Regional Centre, if determined, will be between the ranges of fees currently paid to Regional Rural and Regional Strategic Centre. Should the Tribunal reclassify Council under the Regional Centre, it would have the potential to fund the increase in Councillor’s expenses. Council have prepared a submission to claim they should be considered as a Regional Centre.

While Council have attempted to tick the boxes of the above check list they are also telling the Tribunal that they are on the same level as Port Macquarie, Shoalhaven, Shellharbour, Wagga Wagga and Coffs Harbour. It's nice that Council thinks they are better than Bega, Byron, Kiama and Goulburn.

It is not known if the General Manager of a Regional Centre also receives a higher remuneration. The Eurobodalla Shire Council's General Manager already exceeds the Group Average of $303,225 per year. In 2018/19 the General Manager had a remuneration package of $322,875. That was then increased by 2.6% this year to $330,946. The Group average for a Regional Centre Council is currently $354,245 With the endorsement of the submission it appears that both the councillors and the General Manager might benefit. This is on a par to an earlier vote this year that rewarded all of the councillors with a 2.5% increase in their fees.

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