How much are department Secretaries paid? Look no further for your dose of career choice regret.
Before retiring from his role as Secretary of Health earlier this year, Professor Brendan Murphy was earning a total remuneration package of $915,108, including a base salary of $853,261 per annum.
Despite the big numbers, that didn’t make Professor Murphy the highest paid department secretary in the Australian Public Service. That title went to Defence Secretary Greg Moriarty, whose total package crept up into seven figures at $1,006,474, from a base salary of $872,682.
According to The Mandarin, the average total remuneration for a federal secretary in 2022-23 was $759,662, with the median salary at $858,279. The average salary was higher in the previous year – $841,614 – but the median was lower ($836,846).
The secretary with the highest remuneration in 2021-22 was Simon Atkinson, who stepped down as Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications chief in July 2022. His $1,635,068 salary included $796,403 in termination benefits.
The top base salary in 2021-22 went to former Agriculture, Water and the Environment secretary Andrew Metcalfe ($831,861), followed by Mr Moriarty ($810,364).
In comparison, CSIRO chief executive Larry Marshall earned $999,629 in 2022-23, with a base salary of $713,957. ATO commissioner Chris Jordan made $915,680 ($853,251 base) and ACCC commissioner Gina Cass-Gottlieb earned $840,628 ($753,991 base). Prime Minister Anthony Albanese earned just under $587,000.
How the other secretaries were paid in 2022-23:
- Ray Griggs: Social Services — total remuneration $908,909; base salary $854,823.
- David Fredericks: Climate Change, Energy, the Environment & Water — total remuneration $864,085; base salary $754,321.
- Rosemary Huxtable: formerly Finance — total remuneration $108,885; base salary $87,487.
- Alison Frame: Veterans’ Affairs — total remuneration $366,655; base salary $282,949.
- Jan Adams: Foreign Affairs and Trade — total remuneration $943,440; base salary $829,587.
- Tony Cook: Education — total remuneration $633,505; base salary $556,932.
- Jenny Wilkinson: Finance — total remuneration $765,916; base salary $694,233.
- Mike Pezzullo: Home Affairs — total remuneration $918,905; base salary $792,049.
- Michele Bruniges: formerly Education — total remuneration $730,325; base salary $572,324.
- Andrew Metcalfe: formerly Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry — total remuneration $849,570; base salary $797,253.
- Meghan Quinn: Industry, Science and Resources — total remuneration $693,794; base salary $611,284.
- Natalie James: Employment and Workplace Relations — total remuneration $852,473; base salary $706,849.
- Jim Betts: Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts — total remuneration $898,201; base salary $845,395.
- Steven Kennedy: Treasury — total remuneration $958,773; base salary $753,261.
- Glyn Davis: Prime Minister & Cabinet — total remuneration $976,230; base salary $927,612.
- Robert Stefanic: Parliamentary Services — total remuneration $478,531; base salary $443,541.
- Katherine Jones: Attorney-General’s – total remuneration $974,198; base salary $822,869.
- Liz Cosson: formerly Veterans’ Affairs — total remuneration $799,652; base salary $382,069.
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