A PAY RISE that was voted in by Tamworth Regional Council councillors is hoped to bring more candidates to the table at the next election.
The council has been bumped up a peg from the regional rural category to regional centre, which means councillors will be paid $24,320 and the mayor $60,090.
There will be no pay rise in the next financial year after the Local Government Remuneration Tribunal ruled pandemic pressures had impacted economic circumstances.
Councillors adopted the maximum pay rise available for 2021, which still pales in comparison to the $80,000 upward paid to elected officials in parts of regional QLD.
If Tamworth wanted as many people as possible to put their hand up for office there needed to be reasonable remuneration, Cr Glenn Inglis said.
"Here we go through the annual charade of having to decide our own remuneration, it's a disgraceful system," he said.
"But this year of all years, we are finally being categorised into a category that is actually befitting of this council." There is $182,767 in the council budget for councillors, and $42,121 for the mayor.
That will be increased by $54,072 to cover the maximum amount payable in 2021.
The work and responsibility held by a regional council compared to the city is almost non-comparable, Cr Juanita Wilson said, where the management of water and other infrastructure is concerned.
"I thought at last, regional councils of our size are being recognised for where they sit and what they do," she said.
"When I analysed it down, the difference amounts to the month we get [from the supermarket] for collecting three shopping trolleys from the supermarket off the street each week.
"I know it's an awkward time and it looks inappropriate, but the way I see it is that at last this council and future councils of our ilk will be recognised for what they are responsible for."
The pay rise comes into effect in the 2021 to 2022 financial year.