Brisbane’s most colourful councillor has taken to living in a houseboat, well beneath his means, domain.com.au reports.
“It’s not an easy life,” Jonathan Sri said. “Kayaking on and off every day, being attacked by sandflies…”
Cr Sri has been living on the boat with his girlfriend since March this year, after buying the houseboat on the Gold Coast and driving it up closer to home.
The living space inside is just five metres by three, which makes for cramped dinner parties.
As one of Brisbane’s 26 councillors, Cr Sri is entitled to an annual salary of $157,782 but he doesn’t make use of it all himself.
Theoretically Cr Sri could likely get a home loan for well in excess of $1 million — more than enough to purchase a renovated family home in the inner city.
Instead, the Greens councillor donates half of his wage to charity and chooses to live on a vessel that cost just $30,000.
There’s a few reasons for this decision. First and foremost, Cr Sri said, a lawmaker’s wage growth is well out of step with ordinary Australians.
“I get about $150,000 a year. If I was keeping that I could afford to live in a much nicer place,” he said. “Until ordinary workers are paid better and Centrelink is much more reasonable I don’t think it’s fair for politicians to be afforded much higher pay.”