Opposition leader Mark McGowan has criticised increases in senior Western Australian bureaucrats’ salary packages during the Liberal-National government’s first term in office, describing them as “extravagant” and “obscene”.
WA Business News revealed today that Department of Health director general Kim Snowball’s salary package increased by $100,000 in just one year to $615,000. Department of Premier and Cabinet director general Peter Conran’s remuneration went up by $90,000 in the space of three years to $485,000.
Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan’s salary package of $515,000 is up $100,000 from when the Barnett government took office in 2008, while under-treasurer Timothy Marney enjoyed a boost of $80,000 over the same period, also earning $515,000 in 2011-12.
“At the same time that Premier Colin Barnett is imposing massive increases in electricity and water bills and is implementing more cuts on the public service, he’s allowed bureaucrats’ salaries to blow out to obscene levels,” Mr McGowan said.
“Western Australians have had enough of these huge pay rises. Any pay increases should be kept in line with those awarded to ordinary public sector employers such as police, nurses, teachers and cleaners.”
Nine senior public servants earned more than $500,000 during the past financial year, including five directors general of government departments. The remuneration of directors general is subject to the rulings of the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal.
Treasurer Troy Buswell said in response to inquiries from WA Business News that the Office of the Auditor General had made changes to its reporting requirements this year “to include more non-salary costs as part of the overall cost of the CEO position to each department”, and that the Salaries and Allowances Tribunal had not made a ruling on remuneration in 2012.
The annual reports of government agencies did not specify the impact of the changed reporting requirements.