NDIS minister gets CEO Martin Hoffman a payrise

By Shannon Jenkins

Wednesday November 13, 2019

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The public servant leading the National Disability Insurance Agency will receive a pay rise following requests from the minister to the Remuneration Tribunal.

NDIA CEO Martin Hoffman will take home an additional fixed loading of $166,260 per year until November 2022, on top of his $554,220 salary. 

The Remuneration Tribunal has noted that on September 9, the NDIA chair Helen Nugent wrote to the tribunal requesting person-specific remuneration for the yet-to-be-appointed CEO, as did NDIS minister Stuart Robert — twice.

“On 17 September 2019, the Hon Stuart Robert MP, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme wrote to the tribunal supporting the proposal and noting the requirement for the NDIA to have the highest calibre of leadership,” the tribunal reported.

“The minister wrote again in October 2019 providing details on the background and experience of the appointee, Mr Martin Hoffman and confirming his appointment to the office for a term of three years, with the appointment taking effect from 4 November 2019.”

Hoffman’s total remuneration of $720,480 is less than what his predecessor, Roberto De Luca, would have been earning at this point. After a 2% increase to a list of office holders in June, De Luca’s remuneration would have gone up to $724,120.

The NDIA’s latest annual report shows De Luca only earned a base salary of $566,279 for his work during 2018-19, before he resigned on April 30, with $20,962 in super taking his actual pay packet to a total of $587,241 for the financial year. 

Hoffman was recently accused of being partisan due to his past Twitter activity, which Labor and Greens senators argued was pro-Trump and anti-union.

Labor NDIS spokesperson Bill Shorten also weighed in on the matter.

“The last thing people with disability need is a CEO at the agency who is not an independent public servant,” he said. “This man is paid more than the Prime Minister. He should be absolutely apolitical.”

These whopping amounts seem minuscule compared to the salaries of Australia’s highest paid public servants.

Defence Force chief General Angus Campbell takes home $1,024,351 per year, followed by the new Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Phil Gaetjens, who will earn $914,460 — a wee bit more than his $879,978 salary as Treasury secretary.

Defence secretary Greg Moriarty earns $886,145, closely followed by Home Affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo’s $884,984.

Attorney-General’s Department secretary Chris Moraitis ($878,551), Health secretary Glenys Beauchamp ($858,014), Australian Taxation commissioner Chris Jordan ($838,357), and Education secretary Michele Bruniges ($825,023) are all quite well off.

Most interesting is that the Department of Human Services secretary Renee Leon ($800,352) earns less than her deputy, John Murphy ($807,005), who moved across from the banking sector to lead the massive Welfare Payments Infrastructure Transformation project.

Correction: a previous version of this article incorrectly stated that former NDIA chief executive Roberto De Luca’s annual salary package was $587,241, when this was in fact only his actual remuneration received in the 2018-19 financial year. As the article now states, Mr De Luca’s total yearly remuneration was $709, 920 and would have gone up to $724,120 in June had he remained in the role.

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