In the lead-up to the budget, the government announced it would be making the biggest pay cut since the Howard Government in 2001, and it will be the largest pay cut ever for the Government’s fishery and coastal affairs workers.
The $100 million pay cut announced in the Budget was the biggest ever for any Government sector.
Mr Abbott said the Government was “taking a hard look” at the system, and that it had “not made the best decision” to reduce the pay of its fisheries officer staff.
He said the pay cut would be paid for by cutting $100m from the salary of the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), and by reducing the salaries of senior staff and the senior managers of the department.
“This is a tough decision, but it is one that we will take to protect the integrity of our fisheries, our coastal environment and our economy,” he said.
“We need to protect our economy, our people and our future prosperity.”
Mr Abbott has announced a freeze on the annual salaries of Fisheries Commissioner Gary Stott, who was the highest paid Australian fishery officer in recent times, at $1.6 million.
The Government has also announced a $500,000 cut to the annual pay of a deputy chief executive of the Fisheries Service, to $1,000 a year.
“Fisheries are a vital part of our coastal and estuary economy, providing a valuable service to our nation, and we will ensure that our Fisheries Service is in a strong position to meet the demands of our communities,” Mr Abbott told reporters.