South West shire hits brakes on proposal to issue president a personal vehicle

Craig DuncanHarvey-Waroona Reporter
The Shire of Harvey council has voted against giving the shire president a vehicle.
Camera IconThe Shire of Harvey council has voted against giving the shire president a vehicle. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/RegionalHUB

A South West shire council has slammed the brakes on a proposal that would have given its president a personal vehicle, stating it would send a bad message to ratepayers after cutting spending elsewhere.

The Shire of Harvey council voted 3-6 against the motion from Cr Craig Carbone at their March 26 meeting.

He wanted the shire’s 2024-2025 budget to include at least $53,000 for a vehicle and annual operating costs.

Cr Carbone said he had seen the role of shire president become a full-time position and the “pittance” of a salary current president Cr Michelle Campbell received was not enough.

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He said bonuses such as a personal vehicle were fitting of the “prestigious role”.

“I think this is a no brainer and it should happen. Other councils around WA do it and I think we should be doing the same,” Cr Carbone said.

However, Cr Robyn Coleman said it would send a bad message for the council to cut spending in other areas only to then give the president a new car.

“The shire president, who already earns $80,000 — more than many people in town earn — I would think that’s a really bad message to send,” she said.

Cr Campbell recognised Cr Carbone’s move but said she would not accept a personal vehicle if it was approved.

“It is really up to who is shire president at the time, whether they would want a vehicle or not,” she said.

“If you are asking me, I would say no. I try to carpool as much as I can, only claim on significant mileage and travel with staff when there is the opportunity to do so.”

Cr Carbone stressed his idea was for the position of president, not the individual holding the role.

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