Clarence Valley councillors claimed more than $80,000 in expenses for the 2011-12 financial year.
Clarence Valley councillors claimed more than $80,000 in expenses for the 2011-12 financial year. Adam Hourigan

Counting the cost of Council's expense claims

ON SATURDAY The Daily Examiner revealed councillors serving in the last term of Clarence Valley Council claimed more than $80,000 in expenses in 2011-12.

But who spent what and where they spent it has never been revealed to the public.

There is no list detailing the bills councillors rack up and expect the ratepayer to foot.

In Clarence Valley Council's 2011-12 Annual Statutory Report staff noted: "In 2011-2012, the total cost of the payment of expenses...to councillors in relation to their civic duties was $80,292."

But the full breakdown of these expenses is notably absent.

Since many of these expenses were charged there has been a local government election and three of the nine councillors were not responsible for these expenses.

These councillors are Andrew Baker, Jason Kingsley and Jeremy Challacombe.

The report said councillors spent $9754 on phone calls, faxes and internet.

Just under $20,000 was spent on tickets to conferences.

And another $19,693 was spent on interstate flights.

Mayor Richie Williamson said the council was not required by the NSW Department of Local Government to itemise councillors' expenses.

Cr Williamson said he did not consider the expenditure to be too hefty considering the council's overall budget.

"Sizeable compared to what? A $1.7 billion asset base," he said.



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