Despite appearances on the front page of today’s Australian,
ACT chief minister Jon Stanhope has reason to be pleased as he joins
his fellow Labor leaders at COAG: he’s secured himself a $25,000 pay

It appears ACT pollies have made off with a larger motza
than their federal colleagues, who recently received a relatively
modest rise, courtesy of the rumeration tribunal. The Toytown pollies
have received a pay rise of around 20%, brought to our attention by
political blogger Mr Grumpy.

makes the government’s support of Greens MLA Deb Foskey retaining her
public housing unit even more of a sick joke. Not that you’d discern it
from this glum media release put out yesterday by the ACT government.

Minister Stanhope complains his salary is “still significantly below
the basic salary rates of parliamentarians in most other Australian
states and territories.” He whinges: “The salary of the ACT Chief
Minister is still lower than that of every other state and territory
leader bar one.”

Which raises the question: who is now
Australia’s lowest paid political leader – and how does he feel about
it? For a clue, study the COAG photo on the front page of The Australian, and check out who appears to be giving Stanhope an old-fashioned wedgie. Can you see Paul Lennon’s hand? Neither can we.