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Mar 24, 2016

Cashed-up mandarins: which public servants have the fattest wallets?

Counting down the six best-paid public servants in Australia.

Sally Whyte — Political reporter

Sally Whyte

Political reporter

The New South Wales government is attempting to introduce measures to increase the pay rises available to top public servants to entice talent from the private sector, but top mandarins in federal departments and agencies are already taking home huge pay packets — in some instances, well above what actual MPs and ministers are earning. So who are the money men (and yes, they are all men) of Australia’s public service?

Bill Morrow 555x295

1. Bill Morrow In the 2014-15 financial year, the CEO of NBN took home a base salary of $2,281,217 plus almost $500,000 in bonuses. His total remuneration, according to NBN’s annual report, was around $3 million. The NBN boss is now the highest-paid public servant since Australia Post’s Ahmed Fahour waived his bonus. Morrow is paid significantly more than his predecessor in the role, Mike Quigley, whose base salary was $2 million without bonuses built into his contract. Before NBN, Morrow was in the private sector, as the CEO at Vodafone.

ahmed fahour 555x295

2. Ahmed Fahour The controversial CEO of Australia Post was reportedly paid $1.75 million in 2014, after forgoing his bonus of between $2 million and $2.5 million. In 2012-13, when Fahour did take his bonus, he was paid $4.8 million, which had him among the top 40 paid executives in the country. While Australia Post’s annual report for the last financial year doesn’t break down the amounts paid to each director, the total amount is down on previous years. In 2013-14, the 17 senior executives and directors were remunerated a combined $16,177,703, while last year that figure was $13,469,424.

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3. Martin Parkinson From the start of this year, the secretary of Prime Minister & Cabinet moved up to earning $861,700 a year, making him the highest-paid secretary in the public service.

John Fraser 555x295

4. John Fraser The secretary of Treasury is the second most well-paid secretary, at $840,810 a year. Other secretaries earn between $678,920 and $814,700 a year, as well as other allowances.

Mark Scott 555x295 2

5. Mark Scott The ABC’s outgoing managing director took home $823,613 in 2013-2014, but his replacement, Michelle Guthrie, will take home $900,000 a year. During the application process, the ABC applied to the Remuneration Tribunal for an increase for the next person in the job (although Guthrie’s pay is still way below what other CEOs in the commercial broadcasting sector take home).


6. Larry Marshall The head of the CSIRO has been across the headlines recently with cuts to the climate change department of the organisation. His take-home pay, including bonuses, is up to $800,000. 

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6 thoughts on “Cashed-up mandarins: which public servants have the fattest wallets?

  1. zut alors

    The CEO of Oz Post is proof that incompetence pays. He managed to make ‘snail’ mail an accurate definition of a once efficient postal service.

  2. CML

    Bloody outrageous!
    Perhaps people wouldn’t mind if they all actually did their jobs well.
    Doesn’t seem to be the case, from what I have observed!!

  3. Norman Hanscombe

    No matter what Crikey ‘journalists’ receive it probably makes many of them FAR more overpaid than is the case with Government bureaucrats.

  4. AR

    zut – he is surely the most egregious example of paid for failure.

  5. mikeb

    kristyy68 Well the ABC one is about to become a woman. So now it’s mostly men.