WA’s City of Stirling Elected Members will soon receive ratepayer-funded superannuation contributions, after councillors unanimously endorsed the motion yesterday.
The Council says the move brings them in line with elected officials at State and Federal levels, as well as Councillors in other states and territories.
At a meeting on Wednesday, Council resolved unanimously to become an eligible governing body (from 10 July) under the Commonwealth Taxation Administration Act 1953, which treats Elected Members as employees for the purposes of superannuation and other tax-related matters.
“The City has driven reform to enable superannuation since 2021, working with the WA Local Government Association (WALGA) to advocate for the sector,” the Council said in a statement.
Although the WA Government has indicated its agreement that Elected Members should receive superannuation, it has not yet been prioritised in the first tranche of local government reforms adopted by State Parliament, it said.
Mayor Mark Irwin said the State Government’s inaction had led the Council to take matters into its own hands.
“Last night Council unanimously agreed to introduce superannuation contributions for Elected Members because it is important for our City – and for councils across the state – to attract and retain quality, highly skilled candidates and Councillors,” he said.
“Serving on Council has a significant impact on someone’s work and personal life, and the State Government has said there is merit in any measures that would act to increase participation and drive greater diversity among Elected Members.
“If we are serious about attracting more young people, more women and more diversity into representing the community in local government, then we should address the fact they are among the only professionals in WA who are not paid superannuation.
“Not having superannuation acts as a disincentive to a diverse field of candidates with professional contributions, skills, talent and resources who could enact positive change in their community.”
The Council says it expects other WA councils may consider following its lead.