Greens Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young says Australia Post has become quasi-public, quasi private and this is clashing with the community’s expectations for their postal service.
“Australia Post is making huge profits out of an essential service and dishing it out to executives in the form of huge salaries, big bonuses and Cartier watches.
“Now we are in the middle of a recession the rubber has really hit the road for public service executives with enormous pay packets.
“Paying a two million dollar salary to the executive of a publicly-owned service doesn’t pass the pub test. Let’s not forget the previous Australia Post CEO was on a $5million package.
“Meanwhile, Australians are paying through the nose to use their postal service and can’t get their mail delivered.
“Most people cannot believe any public servant is paid more than the Prime Minister and yet they are - many times over - and then there’s bonuses on top of exorbitant base salaries.
“If the PM is really concerned about what’s going on at Australia Post he’ll work with the Greens to rein in executive salaries and bring them more into line with community expectations.”
Greens Leader, Adam Bandt, said the party will propose a salary cap for Australia Post executives.
“Essential services should be run for the public good. By treating Australia Post as just another business, the government has allowed a ‘greed is good’ culture to dominate,” Bandt said.
“Change starts at the top and Australia Post executives should have their salaries capped. They should be working for the common good, not Cartier watches.”
“The Cartier watches scandal is a symptom of a long ideological campaign from the Liberal government to corporatise the culture and operations of Australia Post.
“The runaway executive salaries at Australia Post are another symbol of the failure of the trickle-down agenda and it’s one that we aim to reign in.
“The Greens would also work towards ending performance-based pay. This is a failed experiment. It has not improved performance, but it has eroded a sense of teamwork and it is inconsistent with the role and culture of the public service.
The Greens have consistently raised concerns about runaway pay for executives, including tabeling the Public Governance Performance and Accountability Amendment Executive Remuneration Bill (2017). The bill would tie executive pay across the public service, including Australia Post, to 5 times the Australia-wide average wage (approximately $420,000).
“We could have started a culture change years ago, but the bill didn’t get support. We’re looking to put the proposal to cap executive salaries back to Labor and the Crossbench again now,” Bandt said