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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 275

Mr ENTSCH (Leichhardt) (13:52): Thank you very much indeed! I cannot outdo that one!

I was certainly taken aback today in reading in today's media of the salary package of Australia Post's CEO Ahmed Fahour. Earning $5.6 million in 2016, he was Australia's highest paid public servant. Five other executives in Australia Post received salaries ranging from $1.3 million to $1.8 million.

This is not the first time there has been public outrage over this. Here we have a situation where Australia Post is constantly complaining about being under financial pressure in a changing world. They use this to continually justify their increases in prices, such as in the cost of stamps, and their reductions in service, including dropping the frequency of mail services.

I appreciate that, if you want to attract the best people to the public service, you need to offer remuneration that is attractive to them. And I am not disputing that Mr Fahour has turned around Australia Post's failing letters business. But, looking at these salaries, they just beggar belief. Should a CEO of an Australian business enterprise that is accountable to the parliament be paid 10 times more than the Australian Prime Minister?

Reviewing these packages, I believe, would be a great way for Australia Post to start looking at being far more cost-effective. I will certainly be letting the Minister for Communications know of my view. We really need a reality check. Australia Post is not a private enterprise; it is in fact a public utility.