Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue (Images: AAP)

NBN Co chief executive Stephen Rue earned more than $3 million last financial year, the highest taxpayer-funded salary in Australia after receiving a $1.2 million bonus — despite NBN not meeting revenue forecasts.

As Australia suffers peak unemployment and a recession, taxpayers pay out big bucks for public figures. 

Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate

Despite staff redundancies, service and delivery day cuts, Australia Post pays its head honchos well. Holgate took home $1.6 million in 2019-20 — down from $2.5 million after taking a voluntary 20% pay cut and deferring her bonus.

ABC managing director David Anderson

Our national broadcaster has cut hundreds of jobs, scrapped next year’s cadet program and attempted to implement pay freezes — yet Anderson was paid $1.14 million in 2018-19. Between April and September this year, he took a 5% pay cut.

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority chairman Wayne Byres

The banking, insurance and superannuation supervisor gets an annual salary of $886,750. Unsurprisingly, he’s stayed in the position since 2014.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims

The ACCC boss takes home a tidy $775,910. His annual salary is matched by Australian Securities and Investments Commission chairman James Shipton, and Solicitor-General Dr Stephen Donaghue, QC. 

Services Australia CEO Rebecca Skinner

In charge of the troubled welfare and social services sector, Skinner takes home $748,210 a year. She has attempted to move past the robodebt controversy and has since had to deal with a surge in demand for services as unemployed Australians line up around the block for Centrelink. 

This morning it was announced that more than 400 Victorian Centrelink call centre staff have been sacked. Centrelink, child support and Medicare workers and their union, the CPSU, have published an open letter expressing concern around casualisation and privatisation of public services. 

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation director-general of security Mike Burgess

The head of Australia’s spy agency receives a salary of $665,070, and this year has dealt with a rise in potential terrorists and foreign spies infiltrating politicians. ASIO is also attempting to expand its powers to question journalists and advocacy groups.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Australian politicians are some of the highest paid in the world. Morrison earns $549,229 — more than German Chancellor Angela Merkel and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

During the height of the pandemic, as wage freezes were implemented to all Commonwealth public servants, Morrison refused to follow the lead of other international leaders and take a pay cut

On top of his annual salary, Morrison lives rent-free in Kirribilli House and The Lodge in Canberra and gets $583 a day travel allowance. After retirement, he’ll get generous superannuation benefits, three new advisers and 40 domestic business class trips a year.

Discrimination commissioners

Sex, race, age and disability discrimination commissioners, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner, human rights commissioner and the national children’s commissioner each get a pay packet of $360,250. 

There has been a surge of reports to various commissioners during the pandemic. Race Discrimination Commissioner Chin Tan received a rise in reports of racial abuse linked to COVID-19.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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