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New councillor refuses to accept superannuation, advises CEO to hang onto it

Councillor Frances Kinghorne doesn't believe councillors are entitled to superannuation. Stock image (main).

By Peter Holmes

A disagreement between councillors over whether they should be paid superannuation has led to at least one councillor advising the city's CEO David Waddell not to pay them the amount.

The majority of councillors recently voted to award themselves superannuation.

New councillors Frances Kinghorne and Dr Steve Peterson voted against being paid superannuation, while councillor Tony Mileto left the room ahead of the vote.

The nub of the disagreement was about whether being a councillor was a part-time job, or a duty compensated with a fee or allowance. The former would typically attract superannuation, while the latter would not.

Kinghorne, a pharmacist, told The Orange News Examiner she had advised Orange City Council CEO David Waddell that she didn't want to be paid the superannuation.

"There was a little bit of confusion at the meeting ... most people supported it because they thought it was like a normal job, but it's not," she said.

"You don't get tax taken out of your [council] pay, you don't get a pay slip. It's a fee. You can choose not to have [superannuation], so I did."

Asked if it was an issue she felt strongly about, Kinghorne said "it was, yes".

"Everyone [on council] has a job; I realise people think differently to me and that's fine, I respect that, but that's just what I thought."

It is believed Kinghorne is not the only councillor to have said no to the superannuation.

The Orange News Examiner has sought comment from councillors Peterson and Mileto.

Councillors receive about $25,000 per year, while the mayor Jason Hamling - who continues to operate his tour business - is paid about $85,000.

The money is not taxed by council, and councillors are required to declare the income in their tax returns.


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