Dubbo Regional Council paid more than $1 million to the general manager and chief executive officer in 2017/18.
During the financial year, $817,473 was paid to the general manager Mark Riley, which includes his salary from July until his contract was terminated in November, and his remuneration package.
At the time, council voted to keep his termination package private, however council had to include the payout in its annual report to the Office of Local Government.
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Chief executive officer Michael McMahon was paid $236,569 for his leadership across the seven months. He was appointed as acting general manager in December 2017 and in March the role was renamed chief executive officer.
In total, council paid $1,054,042 for the two leaders.
During the same 12 months, Orange City Council paid $328,618 for their general manager and Bathurst Regional Council paid $313,811.
Under the Local Government Act 1993, the salary of the general manager – of chief executive officer – is set at a level that ensures it “reflects the responsibilities and duties of the position”.
It is generally the mayor who determines the salary.
A spokesperson for Local Government NSW said as a peak body it they were not privy to council deliberations and could not comment on individual council decisions.
“Each council determines the salary for their general manager, and it will vary from council to council for a number of reasons,” the spokesperson said.
Dubbo Regional Council paid another $2.2 million to the senior staff during the 12 months.
It includes the entitlements for three long-serving directors who resigned or were unsuccessful in getting a senior staff position during the restructure from Dubbo City Council to Dubbo Regional Council.
The administrator was paid $58,401 for the three months from the beginning of the financial year until his role ended on September 28.
In the 2016/17 financial year, when Dubbo was amalgamating with Wellington council, the administrator’s salary was $222,317.
During the same financial year, Dubbo’s general manager was paid $313,811 and the total employment costs of the senior staff were $1,367,875.
All councils in NSW are required to develop an annual report. It not only includes salaries but the major projects and services that were delivered to the community.