The pseudo-academic, Peter Von Onselen, criticises the appointments of Tim Wilson and Tim Soutphommasane because
I would have argued that the biggest complaint anyone should have with the Wilson and Soutphommasane appointments is that with a base salary of more than $320,000 a year, surely candidates should have CVs to match the likes of a Brandis or Dreyfus to even be considered for positions on the AHRC.
It doesn’t take long to check the current determination of full-time statutory offices and the base salary for a human rights commissioner is $242,950. Compare that to the determination for say the President of the Australian Law Reform Commission where the base salary is $412,550.
Sure the salary of a human rights commissioner is attractive – about the same as a first assistant secretary in the public service, but I wouldn’t argue it is disproportionate to the many other offices covered by Remuneration Tribunal.
Of course it would be better to abolish the Human Rights Commission, and quite a few other Commonwealth bodies.