Community

We work hard for the money

I AM not supposed to talk about money.

About how much politicians get paid. It is not a winnable conversation, as there are plenty of people who think they are paid way too much.

But I have to speak up. When I read some of the horrible things that were said about councillors last month, it was very clear that most people did not realise it was just a $9 a week increase.

No one attacked our lowest paid workers when the minimum wage went up $22 a week this year. But for $9 a week, councillors were subjected to abuse that no one should endure in their workplace.

Some in our community think that politicians are fair game when it comes to abuse.

"They know what they are putting their hand up for,” I hear it said.

Sorry, but that doesn't make your behaviour okay.

Council long ago used to be retired old white farmers and business men, who met once a month to do a few things for the community and a few for themselves. But those days are well behind us. Now it is a complex and involved job that requires a lot of time, patience and effort.

We want more people to consider this as something worth doing, we need more diversity of opinion so that councils do not become de facto war rooms for political parties. We don't want to become mini state or federal parliaments.

So councillors earning half the minimum wage, around $18k a year (yes it is taxable income) forces those who take up the challenge to be independently wealthy or working a day job to look after their family. That is not sustainable.

Most councillors do a fantastic job, putting in a lot of time and energy to make our community a better place.

Next time you see one, thank them for their hard work. They deserve it.

Topics:  city council lismore


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