MORNINGTON Peninsula Shire councillors have been reassured they can claim child care costs for more than one child and child care agency fees.
Councillors last week voted to amend the Councillor Expenses Reimbursement, Resources and Facilities Policy to make it clear that these costs can be claimed for children up to 16 years.
The policy was adopted by council on 12 December 2017 and will be reviewed before the next municipal election in October 2020.
Shire senior policy advisor Anthea Hastie said councillors can be reimbursed for child care costs while “discharging their official duties”.
“Councillors are eligible for reimbursement of child care costs for immediate family members where the councillor or their domestic partner is the primary care giver,” Ms Hastie said in a report to council’s Tuesday 24 July meeting.
As well as claiming such costs as travelling, use of their own vehicle and tolls (but not fines) councillors can spend up to $16,000 during their four-year term on training, conferences and seminars. The mayor is allowed $3500 more than other councillors. Councillors are supplied with a mobile phone, computer and printer.
The maximum child care rates that can be reimbursed (plus agency booking fees if applicable) are: $32 an hour on weekdays or evenings; $44 on weekends; and $55 on public holidays.
Child care cannot be paid to someone who “normally or regularly” lives with a councillor.