Australia Post learnt the hard way today that making an effort to hide information just means everyone is much more interested in it. After questioning from Senator James Paterson in Senate estimates and a series of letters in which the government-owned business claimed AusPost boss Ahmed Fahour’s pay should not be released due to commercial sensitivities, we finally got the truth. “This may lead to brand damage for Australia Post which when operating in a competitive market, may be significantly detrimental to our business and future profitability,” Australia Post claimed. The organisation also claimed it should be given a week’s notice as to when the figure — 10 times the prime minister’s salary at $5.6 million — would be released.

Paterson told Crikey today that the committee was satisfied with the executive pay disclosures made by other organisations under its remit, like the ABC, SBS and NBN Co, but said that Australia Post would likely face a grilling in the next round of estimates later this month. 

There was no explanation of why the figure couldn’t be revealed for the 2015-16 financial year — it has been made public every other year. Fahour was near the top of a Crikey list last year of best-paid public servants, reportedly taking home just $1.75 million in 2014 — he gave up his $2 million bonus that year. In 2012-13 he earned $4.8 million, including a bonus. That means he’s had an $800,000 raise in four years — considering wage growth isn’t going far everywhere else in the country, that’s a pretty good deal.

Peter Fray

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