08 Feb Australia Post senior executives’ multi-million dollar salaries revealed
The multi-million-dollar salaries of senior executives at Australia Post have been revealed by a Senate committee, with the committee dismissing claims the move would result in “unwarranted media attention” and “brand damage”.
Committee chairman Senator James Paterson said documents published on Tuesday showed managing director Ahmed Fahour received a $4.4 million salary and a $1.2 million bonus last financial year, taking his total package to $5.6 million.
That salary is more than 10 times more than the $507,338 Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is paid.
The documents — which do not name Australia Post staff — reveal another five executives received between $1.3 million and $1.8 million a year and one claimed a $380,000 retirement benefit.
The committee asked Australia Post to detail the salaries last year but the government-owned business agreed to do so in private only.
Australia Post wrote to Mr Paterson in January to claim there was no public interest justification for disclosing the salaries.
“Australia Post and/or those individuals may become targets for unwarranted media attention,” a spokesman said.
“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.”
Salaries should not be hidden: Paterson
Senator Paterson told the ABC that Mr Fahour — a former senior executive at NAB and Citigroup — was Australia’s highest paid public servant and his salary should not be hidden from taxpayers.
“Listed Australian companies are required by law to disclose senior executive remuneration,” he said.
“We should expect at least the same level of transparency from a government business enterprise which has benefited for many years from government-granted monopoly protection.”
Senator Paterson wrote to Australia Post on Tuesday to say there was no compelling reason for the remuneration figures to be hidden from public scrutiny.
“The committee considers that Australia Post should be considering ways to increase transparency about its operations and expenditure,” Mr Paterson said.
“In particular the committee notes that NBN Co — another wholly government-owned business enterprise — publishes detailed information about the remuneration paid to its senior executives as part of its annual report.”
Australia Post stopped publishing information about executive salaries after the 2014-15 annual report.
The government-owned business posted a $36 million profit in 2015-16 after posting a $222 million loss a year earlier.
Australia Post announced major job cuts in 2015 due to the decline of its traditional letter delivery service.
Australia Post has been contacted for comment.
This article was originally published on the ABC News website.