The Local Government Act 2009 (section 183) provides the tribunal with jurisdiction for local government remuneration matters for all Queensland local governments, except the Brisbane City Council.
Local government categories
The tribunal must review local government categories once during each local government four-year term. This review must be completed before 1 December of the year before the next local government election (section 243, Local Government Regulation 2012). This ensures that the categories are relevant and up-to-date for each new local government term.
Every year the tribunal must also decide the maximum remuneration payable to councillors, mayors or deputy mayors in each category of local government (section 244, Local Government Regulation 2012). This decision must be made before 1 December.
In making its decisions about the remuneration to be paid to mayors, deputy mayors and councillors, the tribunal must have regard to:
- Local Government Act 2009 provisions about the entitlements and responsibilities of councillors
- community expectations about what is an appropriate level of remuneration in the circumstances.
Remuneration determined by the tribunal does not include the reimbursement of expenses incurred by councillors or the provision of facilities as these are provided for in local governments' expenses reimbursement policies.
Local governments must, within two (2) months of the tribunal's determination, resolve to pay their councillors an amount no more than the maximum determined by the tribunal.
If the local government does not set an amount, they receive the maximum amount by default. This is payable to councillors from 1 July each year.
A local government can also make a submission to the tribunal seeking a specific ruling on the amount of remuneration to be paid to a councillor if it believes that exceptional circumstances exist (section 248, Local Government Regulation 2012).
The tribunal maintains an online register of all submissions pursuant to section 248 for a variation in councillor remuneration and records its decision on each submission.
Tribunal report on local government categories and remuneration
When the tribunal makes a decision about remuneration, it must prepare a remuneration schedule and publish it in the Queensland Government Gazette. The tribunal must also prepare a report about the schedule and give a copy of the report and the schedule to the Minister for Local Government.