Victorian Premier to Take Home $465,000 a Year

By Nina Nguyen
Nina Nguyen
Nina Nguyen
Nina Nguyen is a reporter based in Sydney. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural, and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at nina.nguyen@epochtimes.com.au.
June 27, 2022 Updated: June 27, 2022

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews will retain his position as Australia’s highest-paid state leader after an independent tribunal granted all members of Parliament a 2.75 percent pay boost.

Andrews will pocket A$465,000 (US$322,589) a year, including up to $58,435  in expenses and allowances. Victoria’s incoming deputy Jacinta Allan will take home almost $400,000.

Meanwhile, all Victorian MPs’ annual incomes will hit more than $192,000, about a $5,000 rise from the 2021-22 period.

The Victorian premier defended the independent tribunal’s decision to increase the yearly base, saying “we don’t set our own pay, that’s a change [the government] made.”

“It was appropriate for us to make some special arrangements these last couple of years because the state was doing it so tough. But it is independent and I’ll leave it to individuals to make up their own minds on these things,” he told reporters.

“My colleagues, and I’m sure others on the other side of the House, are people out there every day working as hard as they can. They contribute in lots of different ways.”

Andrews became the best-paid premier for the first time in 2019 with a salary of A$441,000 a year. The independent tribunal awarded him an 11.8 percent salary boost, compared to a two percent rise offered to police, paramedics and train drivers.

On the federal level, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s salary from 2022 will reach up to A$564,000, while Opposition Leader Peter Dutton will earn A$401,000 a year.

Australians Burdened by Cost of Living Pressures

The pay rise comes as Australians continue to cope with the cost of living crisis including inflation rates of 5.1 percent. In response, the centre-left federal government has backed a minimum wage increase for the country’s workers arguing that pay rates “should not go backwards.”

Andrews has been under severe criticism for his government’s stringent COVID-19 lockdown which is one of the longest in the world.

In 2021, Victoria’s economy was estimated to have lost over A$700 million (US$485 million) per week since the start of the lockdown, with business and consumer confidence levels bottoming out.

While the majority of MPs last year vowed to donate their increases to charity, it is unclear whether Andrews and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy would donate their upcoming pay rise to charity.

Andrews told The Sun Herald that he normally donated to different causes “without any fanfare or any show.”

“That’s our private business, we do that and we’re pleased to do that.”

‘Disappointing’

The move has been criticised by the co-founder of the Victorians Party Bill Lang, who said the pay rise for politicians was not in the interest of the Victorian public.

“We’re all in this together over the last couple of years, but these folks have never been in it together. And it’s disappointing to see the politicians of all color T-shirts that they wear all accepting the pay rise as an independent tribunal. It’s just not right,” he told 3AW News Talk Radio.

Lang noted that politicians can get a pay rise every year without having any performance metrics.

“You can say whatever you want at the beginning to get yourself elected. And then if you’re all powerful, you can then do whatever you want to do over that four-year period.”

“I hardly say that these people on the tribunal are really making an assessment taking into account the views of all Victorians.”

The wage rise will have effect from July 1.

Nina Nguyen
Nina Nguyen is a reporter based in Sydney. She covers Australian news with a focus on social, cultural, and identity issues. She is fluent in Vietnamese. Contact her at nina.nguyen@epochtimes.com.au.