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Western Power resolves CEO bonus controversy

THE dispute over Western Power chief executive Doug Aberle’s annual bonus has been resolved, following negotiations between the utility’s chairman, Peter Mansell, and Energy Minister Francis Logan. Mr Logan refused to accept the $110,681 annual bonus initially proposed last month by Western Power’s board. He and Mr Mansell have since negotiated a compromise under which Mr Aberle will be paid a $99,854 bonus. Mr Mansell said the minister and the board “had some different views but very much around the edges”. However, he accepted that the process could be improved. “It was a less than ideal way to do it, I agree,” Mr Mansell said. Travel commitments by Mr Mansell and the minister meant the issue could not be resolved before the tabling of Western Power’s annual report in parliament. The report disclosed that Mr Aberle was paid a base income of $380,000 last financial year. He was also paid a $14,140 bonus for the 2006 financial year and the board recommended a $110,681 bonus for 2007. Mr Mansell said the bonus was based on several performance indicators, including Western Power’s financial results, its safety record, reliability of power supplies, customer perceptions, and staff satisfaction. Mr Mansell said the board and the minister were both happy with the final outcome. By way of comparison, Synergy chief executive Jim Mitchell was paid a base salary of $350,000 and was awarded an annual bonus of $116,000 for his performance during the year. Mark Beyer

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