Thursday, 9 February 2017
Questions without Notice
I thank Senator Paterson for his question. Colleagues, on 7 February the Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications released Australia Post's answers to questions on notice from the October estimates. The released information disclosed that the Managing Director of Australia Post made a total of $5.6 million in 2015-16, including $4.4 million in short-term employee benefits and $1.2 million in post-employment benefits.
The view of the community, the government, the Prime Minister and me is that the current level of executive remuneration is out of step with community expectations. The government also agrees with the Senate committee's unanimous view that there is a public interest to report the executive remuneration offered at GBEs and that GBEs should be held to a high standard of disclosure.
Yesterday I called the Chairman of Australia Post to make these views clear. Additionally, I and my joint shareholder minister, Senator Cormann, wrote to the Chairman of Australia Post, requesting that the board give more rigorous consideration to remuneration packages offered to senior executives, that the board should be conscious of community expectations in relation to remuneration, that the board take executive remuneration into account when seeking to reduce operational costs and that the board should ensure greater transparency in relation to executive remuneration.
While the setting of executive remuneration is the responsibility of the board of Australia Post, the letter makes clear that the board needs to be able to justify its decisions to the Australian public.