‘Millionaires’ factory’: Highest paid public sector workers revealed

Anastasia Santoreneos
·2-min read
businessman hiding face behind sign question mark
Australia's highest paid public sector worker revealed. Source: Getty

Move over, Australia Post; there’s a new high roller on the block.

NBN Co chief executive officer, Stephen Rue receives the highest salary in the public sector, after earning more than $3 million in the 2019-20 financial year.

That’s nearly double the salary of the previous highest-paid public sector worker, and the second-highest public sector worker in the 2019-20 financial year, Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate, who earned $1.6 million.

Rue earned $1.86 million and a further $1.17 million in bonuses, totalling $3.15 million, according to NBN Co’s latest annual report.

Seven NBN executives in total earned more than $1 million over the last financial year.

To put that into perspective, Prime Minister Scott Morrison earned $549,299 last year.

Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe is the third-highest paid public sector employee, earning $1.06 million, followed by ABC general manager David Anderson on $998,014, the .

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average Aussie salary is $1,713.90 per week, or $89,076 per year. Rue is earning $59,615 per week - that’s nearly 35 times the average salary.

Around 733 NBN staff earn between $200,000 and $300,000 per year, while 110 earn between $300,000 and $400,000. Thirty-four are earning above $400,000.

Labor senator Kimberley Kitching, who oversees government accountability, dubbed NBN Co a “millionaires’ factory”.

Kitching said: “NBN Co employs public servants who take no private-sector risk, but are given multimillion-dollar rewards.”

The communications, electrical and plumbing union leader also criticised the NBN’s executive pay amid its job cuts.

“The Federal Government’s NBN Co is axing over 800 jobs at a time when Australians are relying on the service more than ever, not to mention that we’re in the middle of a national unemployment crisis,” union national president Shane Murphy said.

“The federal government’s latest budget is supposedly all about jobs – so why are they not intervening to protect these vital jobs from the chopping block?”

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