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Australia’s Queensland Members Of Parliament To Get Pay Rise Before Year’s End

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is saying salaries for Queensland Members of Parliament have been frozen for years.

BRISBANE, Australia — A series of pay rises locked in for Australia’s Queensland politicians following years of frozen wages reflects an economy that’s “coming back”, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says.

Members of Parliament will be earning significantly more by September 2022, under a series of increases recommended by the Queensland Independent Remuneration Tribunal.

“I don’t make these decisions, the independent remuneration tribunal does, and there’s been a pay freeze for four years,” Palaszczuk said on June 1.

“Queensland’s economy is coming back, people are out and about, people are functioning and that is a matter for (the tribunal), they are independent of government.”

The jump in pay is also less than a public sector wage increase, Palaszczuk said.

“We moved legislation in the House to prohibit it being any more, and the recommendation is it’s actually less,” she said.

As a premier, Palaszczuk was the third-highest paid in Australia, after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews ($441,439) and New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian ($407,980). (Darren England/AAP Image)

The move comes after Palaszczuk wrote to the tribunal just prior to the state election, asking that political pay rises be put on hold while the pandemic is contained.

The tribunal said Queensland politicians haven’t had a raise since 2017, putting their salaries behind those paid to Members of Parliament in other states.

“Since the tribunal considered salary levels in 2020, the economic and social circumstances have stabilized to the extent that a salary increase is now justified for members,” it found.

The base and additional salary rates for members will be increased by two percent from September 1 this year.

They will rise again by 2.25 percent, from March 1 next year, and then 2.5 percent from Sept 1, 2022.

Pay increases for Members of Parliament are in line with pay increases for public service employees, who will receive increases of 2.5 percent in September this year, March 2022 and September 2022. (Dean Lewins/AAP Image)

This means an additional AU$7,801 ($6,039) will be added to the salary of a backbencher making AU$159,122 ($123,193).

Among Australian states, Queensland’s base salary is third-lowest, behind that of Western Australia and Tasmania.

As a premier, Palaszczuk was the third-highest paid in Australia, after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews ($441,439) and New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian ($407,980).

As per the proposed pay increases, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s annual base salary and additional salary would increase from AU$399,955 ($309,725) to roughly AU$427,561 ($331,103) by September 2022.

Pay increases for Members of Parliament are in line with pay increases for public service employees, who will receive increases of 2.5 percent in September this year, March 2022 and September 2022.

Because of the impact of the pandemic on employment and inflation levels, as of September last year, full-time adult employee salaries under a state wage ruling increased by 1.75 percent.

The Fair Work Commission increased minimum wages by 1.75 percent last year.

(Edited by Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar and Nikita Nikhil)