The ABC "A Laughing Stock": Bernardi

November 07, 2018

The ABC paid one single executive a massive $232,500 bonus last financial year.

Something which Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has called extraordinary and added to the perception that our national broadcaster is a laughing stock.

The Australian reports, while its greater-than-expected redundancy bill helped to plunge the organisation into an embarrassing financial loss.

The payment, which was not a termination payout, was paid to an unnamed executive who earnt $388,702, bringing their total salary to $692,319.

The bonus, revealed in the broadcaster’s remuneration log, meant that the executive earnt more than most members of the ABC executive team, including David Anderson, who as director of entertainment and specialist was paid $428,287 last financial year, before becoming acting managing director after Michelle Guthrie’s sacking in September.

Guthrie received a $70,000 pay rise to take her salary to $918,924.

The ABC paid 145 staff a salary greater than $200,000 last financial year, up from 139 staff who earnt in excess of that amount the previous financial year.

Sixty-nine employees who were not in the leadership team received a salary between $200,000 and $225,000, while one received a salary between $475,001 and $500,000. Bonuses ranged between nothing to $65,000.

The ABC and SBS have refused to disclose individual staff salaries, citing the Privacy Act. The government prepared legislation to force the broadcasters to reveal the names of staff earning more than $200,000, but has failed to gain the support of Labor and The Greens and some independents.

Senator Bernardi has told Paul Murray Live on Sky News the payments beggar belief.

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