Council bosses bank $2m before bonuses axed

BRISBANE ratepayers have footed the bill for millions of dollars' worth of hefty bonuses paid to the council's top staff under a scheme that will now be scrapped.

The Courier-Mail can reveal 44 senior council employees took home a share of more than $2 million in performance bonuses in July this year - with the average payment reaching a whopping $46,100.

The payments were for work carried out in the 2018/19 financial year.

Another $2.35 million in bonuses was also paid out to 49 staff members in July last year for work conducted in 2017/18, with average payments of over $48,000.

Mayor Adrian Schrinner said earlier this year that bonus payments would be axed. Picture: Annette Dew
Mayor Adrian Schrinner said earlier this year that bonus payments would be axed. Picture: Annette Dew

The revelations come as the administration forges ahead with its plan to axe the payments, after Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner announced earlier this year that bonuses would not be paid to any new employees or be included in any contract renewals.

The council has confirmed that since the new policy came into effect in July, 14 contracts have been renewed with the bonus scheme removed.

Finance and Administration Chair Adam Allan said this would continue as more contracts come up for renewal.

"The bonus scheme was introduced by former Labor lord mayor Jim Soorley in 1994, but is something the LNP has put a stop to," he said.

Labor's lord mayoral hopeful Patrick Condren argued that the bonuses should have been axed years ago though, saying the opposition had called for the scheme to be scrapped at the 2016 election.

"It's good to see that the LNP is catching up," he said.

"These sorts of bonuses are an obscene amount of money to pay people.

Labor’s lord mayoral candidate Patrick Condren says the party campaigned on the issue at the last election. Picture: Peter Wallis
Labor’s lord mayoral candidate Patrick Condren says the party campaigned on the issue at the last election. Picture: Peter Wallis

"Bus drivers, librarians, council workers doing excellent work in the community - they're not getting any bonuses."

Mr Condren suggested the administration should reveal who the bonuses were paid to and under what criteria they were paid.

The administration has confirmed the payments were a "performance-based incentive".

Meanwhile, the independent councillor remuneration tribunal yesterday handed its recommendations to Council chief executive Colin Jensen.

The recommendations are expected to be publicly released within the next two weeks.

Cr Schrinner moved to reconvene the tribunal in October following a Sunday Mail investigation that revealed councillors were receiving generous superannuation benefits of 20 per cent.


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