Mayor “happy to entertain” pay cut for Councillors

Lui Zacher
May 25, 2023 / 10:26 pm

sullivan profile 16052023

Geelong Mayor Trent Sullivan said he’s “happy to entertain” the idea of councillors and administrators taking a pay cut.

It comes in the face of the city’s ballooning debt which the City of Greater Geelong is estimating will hit $8m, but the Australian Services Union is suspecting it may be double – or higher.

The Council has come under intense scrutiny over the past fortnight since announcing services would be cut, such as the opening of the Kardinia Park Aquatic Centre, and debate around the funding of Libraries in the city.

Allowances payable to Councillors, Deputy Mayors and Mayors across the state is determined by the Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal, which also sets State MP’s wages.

The City of Greater Geelong falls under Category 3 – the second highest allowance bracket, only behind Melbourne City Council.

Mayor Trent Sullivan is offered $124,469, Deputy Mayor Anthony Aitkin is offered $62,235, and all other councillors are offered $37,565.

During her failed Federal Election campaign, then-Mayor Stephanie Asher elected to pause being paid her allowance, while in 2020 councillors voted in favour of a pay-freeze due to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, after earlier then-CEO Martin Cutter requested a freeze on his salary for 12 months.

Mr. Sullivan was asked if he would be happy to take a pay-freeze or pay-cut.

“That’s certainly something we’ll entertain. It’s very common for this thing to happen, we’ve taken pay-freezes before as has the previous CEO as well when we were in difficult times,” he said.

“We are part of the community, everybody at council, and the City of Greater Geelong are also members of our community so we understand how difficult this is and we would be happy to entertain (a pay-freeze or take a pay-cut)”


In the last quarter, on top of allowances, the City of Greater Geelong reported expenses of $14,420, 80% of which was travel-related expenses.

Councillor Expenditure – October to December 2022
Councillor Travel Professional
Expenses to
support the
performance of
the role
Grand total
Anthony Aitken 477 477
Stephanie Asher 925 132 1,057
Kylie Grzybek 457 457
Bruce Harwood 43 85 128
Eddy Kontelj 476 476
Sarah Mansfield 85 85
Jim Mason 1,381 90 1,470
Peter Murrihy 3,106 267 3,373
Ron Nelson 303 485 789
Trent Sullivan 5,889 107 5,996
Belinda Moloney 112 112
Total Councillor Expenses 11,647 2,773 14,420