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$410,000 Lottery Salary Challenged By Green MP

Green MP Rod Donald wants to know why the chief executive of the Lottery Commission is paid over $400,000 a year, and has written to the State Services Commissioner and the Secretary for Internal Affairs to find out.

The 1999 Annual Report of the Lotteries Commission reveals that out of a total staff of 100, 15 are paid over $100,000 including one between $200 - $210,000 and another, the chief executive, between $410,000 - $420,000. This is the first time salary information has been disclosed.

"It's outrageous for the head of the state gambling organisation to be paid over $400,000, especially when it has only 100 staff and is effectively a monopoly," said Rod Donald.

"The Lotteries salary is right up there with what is paid to hospital chief executives who each have thousands of staff and are responsible for the health of hundreds of thousands of people.

"As far as I'm concerned, half this salary would be more than enough.

"This is even more outrageous when you consider the funding provided to gambling addiction organisations and the welfare agencies which must cope with the social costs of gambling," he said.

"I don't think the public will be particularly impressed with such salaries .

"The government has clearly abrogated its responsibilities towards Crown Entities, despite placing a significant proportion of public expenditure under their control.

"It will be extremely interesting to hear what justification the State Services Commissioner and the Secretary for Internal Affairs can come up with, especially as the secretary is one of the six members of the Lotteries Commission which sets the salary," he said.

"We need an effective Crown Entity monitoring regime to stop excessive salary payments to chief executives."

The Lotteries Commission is obliged to consult the State Services Commission when setting the salary of the chief executive and to take account of any recommendations, but is not bound by them (Section 93, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1987).


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