19 November 2009

Handsome remuneration for Michael Kaiser

The chief of staff to Queensland Premier Anna Bligh, Michael Kaiser, is to receive an annual salary of $450,000 per annum in his new role as the National Broadband Network’s “government relations” adviser.

This makes him very well paid by Commonwealth standards. The Prime Minister’s latest determination of remuneration for Secretaries of Commonwealth Departments (see full text of determination here) shows that the Secretaries to the Departments of Prime Minister and Cabinet (Terry Moran), Treasury (Ken Henry) and Defence (Ian Watt) have total remuneration valued at $503,220.

I am not sure why a government-owned entity needs a “government relations adviser” – what sort of Board and CEO need to be advised on how to relate to their owner? Be that as it may, it seems to me that the degree of difficulty inherent in the three Department Secretary jobs abovementioned would be far greater than the 11.2% loading on Mr Kaiser’s remuneration would indicate.

Perhaps Mr Kaiser’s remuneration package is just a tad rich.

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