SHOULD the purchase of alcohol by Shoalhaven City councillors while on council business be reimbursed?
This is one of the proposed amendments to council’s Payment of Expenses and Provision of Facilitates Policy.
The document is on public exhibition and recommends that claims for meals and sustenance reimbursement should not include the purchase of alcoholic beverages with or without meals.
It recommends alcohol purchases should be at the personal expense of the council member and accompanying people and that all receipts for claims for meals and sustenance should be clearly itemised to distinguish between items of food, drinks and alcoholic beverages.
Where alcohol is included on the receipt the value should be deducted before accepting and approving the claim.
Council staff suggested the matter was for the elected council to determine.
Cr Greg Watson, the longest standing councillor, said the issue was petty.
“It has always been recognised that if you had exceeded certain hour limits councillors were entitled to sustenance.
“That means when you have a meal and are inclined to have a glass of wine or a beer that’s part of the reasonable sustenance.
“I think this recommendation is just a bit of can-banging to look like money is being saved.
“I don’t care either way, it’s petty and it doesn’t matter to me whether I have a glass of wine or a glass of water with a meal.”