Mayoral candidate Jos Mitchell has pledged to overhaul the councillor vehicle policy if elected to the city’s top job next year, saying a move away from fleet arrangements will help council reduce “unnecessary expenditure”.
Ms Mitchell said adopting an opt-in allowance system for elected representatives was just one measure Redland City Council could introduce to “tighten its belt”, declaring more needed to be done amid the cost-of-living crisis to help struggling households.
The Victoria Point resident and former police prosecutor, who announced her candidacy for the city’s top job earlier this year, said motor vehicle allowance systems in place for federal and state MPs should be extended to council.
Councillors voted unanimously in 2016 to reintroduce fleet vehicles for elected representatives, with Redland City Council saying at the time that any cars purchased under the scheme would be in line with “community expectations”.
But Ms Mitchell has promised to work on moving to an allowance-based system if elected next year, saying the move would eliminate the burden of insurance, fleet maintenance, depreciation and staff time.
“We have to look at alternatives that illustrate a responsible approach to ratepayer funded expenditure,” she said.
“As households tighten their belts, so must council. This is just the start of measures we could look at to reduce unnecessary expenditure”.
Media investigations into fleet car arrangements last year revealed three of the 10 councillors were using personal vehicles instead of a council car. It is unclear if this has changed since.
A council spokeswoman said at the time that councillors who did not use a fleet vehicle were able to claim petrol expenses for work travel.
Transport expenses for each councillor and the mayor are made available in Redland City Council’s annual report, with the total for the 2021/22 financial year coming in at $96,382.
Redland City Council was contacted for comment but did not respond in time for deadline on Tuesday afternoon.