Tony Abbott and Kerry Stokes get 57% pay rise for war memorial council roles

The Guardian 1 week ago

Media mogul Kerry Stokes and the former prime minister Tony Abbott are set to gain an extra $30,000 and $15,000 a year for their service on the Australian War Memorial council – a 57% pay boost.

On Thursday the independent remuneration tribunal ordered an “additional fee” of $30,000 for the chair and $15,000 for all other members of the council every year from October 2019 to June 2028.

The fee comes on top of existing remuneration of $52,680 for the chair, a position Stokes has held since November 2015, and $26,340 for council members.

In October Abbott was appointed to replace historian and newspaper editor Les Carlyon, who died in March. There are now no professional historians serving on the council.

The Australian War Memorial in Canberra is undergoing a $500m expansion project to increase visitor space by 10,000 square metres, prompting critics to argue the money would be better spent on veterans.

In its 2018-19 annual report, the War Memorial said a detailed business case and preliminary “gallery master plan” for the expansion went to the government in December.

It said major construction works at its Mitchell storage facility had been completed and would provide long-term storage of large technology objects and other national collection items.

“Work has now commenced on the logistics phases of the project, to move collection items into the purpose-built facility.”

The annual report shows that Brendan Nelson, the director of the War Memorial, earned a total remuneration of $470,000, consisting of $375,000 in base salary, $60,000 in bonuses, $20,000 for superannuation and $15,000 for long service leave.

In the same decision, the remuneration tribunal also ordered an additional $166,260 loading for Martin Hoffman, the chief executive officer of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Launch Transition Agency, from November 2019 to 2022.

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