top of page

Push to transfer Orange mayor's $1,238 weekly allowance to deputy mayor fails

October 4, 2023


Orange mayor Jason Hamling. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

By David Fitzsimons


Orange mayor Jason Hamling will retain his $64,390 annual mayoral allowance after a bid to have it transferred to the deputy mayor was defeated this week.


Hamling has been absent from council since collapsing at a council meeting on August 15, 2023.



Since then his deputy Gerald Power has been filling in with mayoral duties.


Councillor Melanie McDonell asked councillors to reimburse Power for his work by transferring the mayoral allowance to him while Hamling remained absent due to health issues.

She said she did not want to “punish” Hamling, but Power deserved to be compensated.


LORDS PLACE VIDEO



“I understand that the mayor’s dealing with some personal issues at the moment and I don’t want to punish him, that’s the last thing I want to do,” she said.



“(However) I certainly think that the extensive work that councillor Power has done in his acting mayor role for many months now, it is really only fair that he receive the mayoral allowance given that he’s acting as the mayor.”


All Orange councillors receive an annual allowance of $26,070 with the mayor receiving an extra allowance of $64,390.


The mayoral allowance cannot be split between two people under state law.


Councillor David Mallard said it was an awkward decision to make.

“The deputy mayor is taking on a lot of activity and I would suggest, almost certainly, that is impacting on his earning capacity,” he said.


Power chaired the early part of the debate before leaving the room.



“I’m not comfortable with this personally and I’d like to leave,” he said. “I’m a big supporter of the mayor, he’s a good man.


"Like anybody we all have struggles. I just want to make sure he gets back on the right track, back with his family. That’s where my support is.”


Council CEO David Waddell said he understood Hamling might return for the next council meeting.


After the issue was debated for 15 minutes in open council and livestreamed, councillor Kevin Duffy called for it to be heard behind closed doors.

That eventually occurred on the grounds of work, health and safety around a councillor’s health.


The decision read out later said the mayor’s remuneration would remain unchanged, and Hamling was approved a leave for absence for this week’s meeting.


MORE NEWS





The Orange News Examiner needs your support so we can keep informing our city. You can make a one-off donation or a small monthly pledge at Patreon or PayPal.


Thank you to those who have already chipped in.


Meanwhile, if you run a business, you can reach around 12,000 people a month by advertising with us. Phone O4O8 427 786.


TAKE ME TO ...


THE HOME PAGE

Comments


bottom of page