My allowances are all on public record, but many people do not realise this.
I do believe it is important that you have clarity. SO here we go….
1) I am not an employee of Council
2) I have to pay my own superannuation
3) I have to pay my own tax on all my allowances
The allowances I am paid are not contingent on being a full time Lord Mayor. I would receive the same allowance even if I only attended the Council meetings that are mandatory for the role.
I pledged to be a full time Lord Mayor.
This is my only job for the simple reason that I am committed to Darwin and believe it is important to interact with the Darwin community so that I can truly represent you in a practical, positive and independent manner.
A large part of the job is attending a lot of functions, in particular Balls and Dinners. You may be interested to know that I often personally pay for my tickets.
Items that come from my own pocket include things like my personal support for the Lord Mayor’s Easter Egg Hunt , where I provide cash to the organisers as well as paying for the Sausage Sizzle and Jumping Castle.
Last year I provided a $50 book voucher for Darwin Primary Schools for the Lord Mayor’s Languages Award. I also support a large number of community organisations fund raising efforts by providing prizes.
There are also a range of charities and organisations that I have supported over the last 5 years with cash donations. Organisations like RSPCA, Cancer Council, Salvation Army, Headspace, Food Bank, NT Aids and Hepatitis Council, Browns Mart, DSO and so on.
I try to spend the Electoral Allowance of $32K within my electorate and always buy local wherever possible.
At our last Council meeting we voted to adopt the Minister’s guidelines for Elected Members Allowances. These provide us with what the maximum that can be payable.
There were no increases to allowances this year.
1) Base Allowance of $121,874.05 pa
2) Electoral Allowance of $32,077.45 pa
These are paid as a monthly payment in arrears.
3) Professional Development “Allowance” of $3,653.68 pa
The Professional Development is not actually paid to me. It is paid to a provider if I attend a course or conference that is in some way associated to my development as the Lord Mayor.
In a nutshell
Given that I am not an employee of Council I do not receive Superannuation. I am like a self-employed person who pays for my own superannuation out of this allowance. The allowance is also fully taxable so the total amount $153,951.50 is gross and I pay tax on it, less any deductions.
While on the topic of deductions in my 50 Shades of Green post, I spoke about how unfair it was that I couldn’t claim even a portion of the tools of my trade, namely personal grooming.
More than happy to answer them, so ask away.