Australia

Eye-watering government pay packets

The wages Queensland is paying its top public servants have been released in new financial reports -with one earning three times the salary of its Premier.

Queensland’s most expensive public servant is taking home more than $1.2 million a year, three times what state Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is currently banking.

Queensland Treasury Corporation chief executive Philip Noble tops the state’s list of public service pay packets for 2020-21 with his role at the government financial authority earning him a total $1,245,859.

There were several government-owned corporation bosses close behind, with Energy Queensland supremo Rod Duke earning $973,000 and Queensland Rail chief executive Nick Easy taking home $825,000.

The eye-watering figures are nestled in the deluge of financial reports that are dumped this time each year by Queensland’s government-owned businesses and departments.

Many top-ranking public servants and policy wonks easily out-earn the states most senior elected officials – including Ms Palaszczuk – who is currently on a salary of $407,954, or $15,636 a fortnight. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is the highest paid state premier with a salary of $452,000.

However, Ms Palaszczuk’s pay is set to increase to about $427,500 by September next year after the Queensland Independent Remuneration Tribunal in June reversed a pollie pay freeze, stating that “economic and social circumstances” had stabilised and wages warranted a bump.

Ms Palaszczuk at the time defended the pay hike, even after declaring in a Facebook post from 2020 there will be “no pay rises for Queensland MPs until 2023”.

“It’s a decision of the Independent Remuneration Tribunal but they are less than the public sector wage increases,” she said.

“We moved legislation in the house to prohibit it being anymore and the recommendation is that it’s actually less.”

According to the Members‘ Remuneration Handbook, Deputy Premier Steven Miles earns $358,824 a year and Opposition leader David Crisafulli takes home $334,259, the same as a government minister.

Meanwhile, the recently-resigned director general of the state’s Department of Premier and Cabinet, Dave Stewart, earned $622,000 in the 11 months he worked in the role during 2020-21. The year before, he took home $697,000.

Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young earned $595,000 last year, up from $582,000 a year ago.

She wasn’t the biggest earning in the Department of Health though, with director general Dr John Wakefield earning $611,000.

Department of Education Director General Tony Cook was paid $621,000, down from $631,000 last year, while Roads and Transport Director general Neil Scales earned $656,000.

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll was paid $558,000 and out-earned Queensland Fire Commissioner Greg Leach, Queensland Ambulance Services Commissioner Russell Bowles, and Queensland Corrective Services commissioner Paul Stewart.

Read related topics:Annastacia PalaszczukBrisbane

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