Get your facts right

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.

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60 Responses to Get your facts right

  1. Sinclair Davidson

    The $320000 is the value of the employment package including super and on costs. It excludes the executive assistance, the media advisor and the chief principle advisor.

  2. jupes

    Regardless of his CV, Dreyfus is a buffoon and like PVO he is a crushing bore.

    Both are examples of the Peter Principle.

  3. entropy

    I would hope a prime function of timWlison’s job is to regularly make his fellow commissioners’ heads explode.

    On that matter, he should definitely make sure he has a say in employing staff in his office, otherwise he will be shafted well and truly by the luvvocracy. And also make sure his office is away from the rest of the commish.

    I remember tales from that Imre chap who writes on NSW politics from his stint running counterpoint what life was like and the treatment they received from the staff at Ultimo.

  4. sabrina

    ALL appointments to the HRC in the past have been political apointments.
    Abolish it, as the IPA suggested in the recent past, and save some of our money. It has been a wastage.

  5. Baldrick

    A Government appointed Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson – $320,000.

    An ABC appointed and self-made human rights advocate Tony Jones – $350,000.

    Tim seems better value, albeit unnecessary.

  6. Cold-Hands

    Is there any doubt that the taxpayer is not getting value for money here? Last I looked, the Human Rights Commissioners were touting for complaints to investigate, as there were not enough legitimate complaints to justify their sinecures.

    Oh, and typo alert for “criticises”.

  7. entropy

    What does the HRC actually do that can’t be done by the courts or activists anyway?

  8. Tapdog

    How simple it was for the left to (re) establish the tried and trusted meme that statutory appointments made by a conservative governments are politically motivated and therefore tainted.

    Does this Government have a media liaison office? Are its staff asleep at their desks or what? Is anybody in charge around this joint?

  9. pretender

    Lets be honest. Peter Von Onselen is a pretender who has been masquerading as an intelligent journalist for a very long time.

    But credit where credit is due, for some reason he is still getting paid to write on things he clearly does not comprehend.

  10. egg_

    A Government appointed Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson – $320,000.

    An ABC appointed and self-made human rights advocate Tony Jones – $350,000.

    Tim seems better value, albeit unnecessary.

    Yup, the Canberra bubble snouts-in-troughs; but hopefully some of the little piggies that are more equal than others have some degree of productivity for their SnowCone-level wages?

  11. Aaron

    Does this Government have a media liaison office? Are its staff asleep at their desks or what? Is anybody in charge around this joint?

    One of the most egregious examples of nepotism under the former government was the appointment of Gillard confidante and Slater and Gordon lawyer Bernard Murphy to the Federal Court. Didn’t even raise a whimper from the Fairfax Press and the ABC at the time.

  12. Brett

    One of the most egregious examples of nepotism under the former government was the appointment of Gillard confidante and Slater and Gordon lawyer Bernard Murphy to the Federal Court. Didn’t even raise a whimper from the Fairfax Press and the ABC at the time.

    Most of the Federal Court appointments made by Rudd / Gillard, with very few exceptions, are ‘sound’ from the Labor perspective. The stacking of the judiciary, particularly when it became apparent that Labor was going to lose, was nothing short of disgraceful. Combine that with the fact most state judiciaries were comprehensively stacked with Labor mates by the now defeated Labor state governments in NSW, Vic and Qld, and it is a very depressing picture.

  13. candy

    I don’t think these two particular appointments mean much to the general public.

    It will be the governor general one that will be big news, so it’s interesting to see how Tony Abbott will go with that one. Whoever it is the left leaning people will probably hate it. It’s case of whatever Tony Abbott says or does they hate without much thought.

  14. I worry that Tim is going to get chewed up and spat out by these lefty nuts. That’s their job. Look what’s happened to the West??!?!

  15. cohenite

    The GG appointment will be instructive. Of lasting effect however will be judicial appointments. We currently have a generation of left appointed judicial officers in this nation. Think Bromberg for example.

  16. Tapdog

    What does the HRC actually do that can’t be done by the courts or activists anyway?

    Damn good question that.

  17. Bruce of Gwandalan

    For a country that is in so much financial trouble and has so much waste I would have thought that by abolishing The Human Rights Commission along with other NGO that really serve no practicle purpose other than give some overpaid parasite another non productive job.
    Get them out into the workforce producing something that advances the productivity of Australia.

  18. One opinion

    Looks like P.V.O. puts money ahead of free speech. Not that my opinion counts, but a gratuitous, superficial comment on “free speech” is precisely what the Western World does not need at this time. Unfortunately. standing up for western culture needs the kind of bravery rarely seen in the media these days, particularly from high profile media guys like P.V.O. and Tony( you can take it anyway you want Jones.

  19. egg_

    Does this Government have a media liaison office? Are its staff asleep at their desks or what? Is anybody in charge around this joint?

    All of these rather odd recent appointments (e.g. gay right winger to HRC) smack of Labor-lite appeasement window dressing from Credlin’s haberdashery and, as IT has said previously, will likely raise the ire of both sides of the political divide; at least when Howard first got in he had a go at decent reform, this mob seem to be trying on magnanimity and it will all likely end in tears.

  20. Rabz

    What does the HRC actually do that can’t be done by the courts or activists anyway?

    The AHRC does a damn fine job helping to wreck society, brick by strategically removed brick.

    A bit of inside goss – there’s a certain matter being considered by the AHRC at the moment. If they don’t make a logical, sensible decision on this matter, Brandis is going to lose his patience.

    Watch this space.

  21. Gab

    surely candidates should have CVs to match the likes of a Brandis or Dreyfus to even be considered for positions on the AHRC.

    Why? The other five have the “right” CV and none of them fought for free speech and the free press when the previous government decided the North Korean model was superior.

    In any case, Peter von Onselen and “facts” are strangers to each other.

  22. H B Bear

    I think a Snowcone is an excellent unit of renumeration (sic).

    “Sure it’s a lot of money but it ain’t even a Snowcone.”

    … And a great reason to shut down the whole edifice.

  23. C.L.

    I like how van Onselen threw in the Soutphommasane and Brandis references to figleaf his leftist attack on Wilson. We didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, Pete.

  24. Anne

    Candy,

    It will be the governor general one that will be big news, so it’s interesting to see how Tony Abbott will go with that one. Whoever it is the left leaning people will probably hate it. It’s case of whatever Tony Abbott says or does they hate without much thought.

    Malcolm Turnbull for Goveror General! That’ll solve two problems.

  25. CatAttack

    The government is wasting its time trying to be balanced in its appointments. The appointment of Ms Stott Despoja did not generate an avalanche of positive Facebook approval or even a mild acknowledgement. The left don’t work like that. Abbott is a poisonous hate figure to them and they will brook no attempts to humanise him in any way whatsoever. This is both a strength and a weakness. The downside is if you create a caricature who is more heinous then the worlds worst mass murderers you don’t have anywhere to go after that.

  26. candy

    Malcolm Turnbull for Goveror General! That’ll solve two problems.

    Excellent idea Anne!

    Only thing is, the left leaning ones will expect a female? So perhaps Malcolm Turnbull could wear a pretty floral frock?

  27. .

    Malcolm Turnbull will make a fine Governor General and first President of this Commonwealth.

  28. Boambee John

    The Human Rights Commission used to be the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission. I assume that the “Equal Opportunities” bit went because its existence made justifying the more egregious examples of affirmative action harder.

  29. boy on a bike

    Have a read through the CVs of the existing Commissioners. I don’t see anything particularly specual in any of them. Based on the description of Mick Gooda, Tim Wilson is the perfect candidate due to his constant advocacy for free speech:

    Mick Gooda is the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner. Mick commenced his term in February 2010.

    Mick is a descendent of the Gangulu people of central Queensland.

    As Social Justice Commissioner, he advocates for the recognition of the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia and seeks to promote respect and understanding of these rights among the broader Australian community.

    Mick has been actively involved in advocacy in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs throughout Australia for over 25 years and has delivered strategic and sustainable results in remote, rural and urban environments.

    His focus has been on the empowerment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Immediately prior to taking up the position of Social Justice Commissioner, Mick was the Chief Executive Officer of the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health for close to five and a half years. Here, he drove a research agenda which placed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people ‘front and centre’ in the research agenda, working alongside world leading researchers.

  30. egg_

    Malcolm Turnbull for Goveror General!

    Yup, and Sir Les Patterson on the HRC.

  31. tomix

    Stott-Despoja appointed to head off a senate run for the ALP in S.A.? Turnbull should never be allowed near the levers of power, in my opinion.

  32. surely candidates should have CVs to match the likes of a Brandis or Dreyfus to even be considered for positions on the AHRC.

    … or, one suspects, the unspoken mutter ‘to match the likes of a Van Onselen’ …

    Bit of pouting going on here, I think.

  33. Andrew

    This may not be a popular opinion, but why are public servants with ‘cushioned jobs’ paid more than many politicians who actually make decisions on the future of the country and form policy?

  34. This may not be a popular opinion, but why are public servants with ‘cushioned jobs’ paid more than many politicians who actually make decisions on the future of the country and form policy?

    The excuse was that ‘this way, we can attract really competent people from industry to work in the public service’.

    And of course we can see what a ripsnorting success that’s been.

    So now industry raises its packages so it can compete with the public service … I think once you get to a six figure salary, all bets are off, and it’s ‘Whatever works to keep our snouts in an ever filling trough’ all round.

  35. gabrianga

    Isn’t van Onselen President of the anti Abbott team at SKY? A young Seccombe making his way through the ranks?

  36. Aristogeiton

    PvO is wrong about the HREOC. The Fraser Government did not set it up as a “quasi-judicial body”. The ruling in Brandy v HREOC concerned amendments made in 1992 in respect of the registration of determinations made under the RDA, which purported to give said determinations the same force as orders of the Federal Court. It was clear to the High Court that save for the farce of the 1992 amendments, the HREOC did not exercise judicial power.

  37. cohenite

    the HREOC did not exercise judicial power.

    And bureaucrats never should.

  38. Des Deskperson

    Actually, the total salary package is $332,800. This would include super contribution, vehicle, free parking (itself probably worth $2,000) pa as well as probably a mobile phone, home computer etc.

    ‘why are public servants with ‘cushioned jobs’ paid more than many politicians who actually make decisions on the future of the country and form policy’

    The base salary for an MP is $195, 130. That’s toward the top of the band for a Commonwealth (APS) SES Band 1. Around 98% of the Commonwealth public service is paid less than this.

  39. Dan

    Attractive:
    Fucking insane more like it
    I’m a full time medical specialist and the package is 40% more than I earn, and these guys have a completely negative value to our society.

  40. Watching It Unfold

    Put the PM in room with PVO and you get Antipathy – literally comes through the TV set.

  41. Peter Moore

    The US guy who was a high ranking EPA official and didn’t turn up for years was described as one of the higher paid US public servants.I think he was on about $200K.We are insane in what we pay.

  42. sabrina

    these guys have a completely negative value to our society
    Brilliant! Abolish the HRC, we do not have any HR problems in our country. If the HRC has to be kept, these guys really want to do something useless, they should volunteer and do their useless work for free.

  43. boy on a bike

    Griener started the push to paying public servants a lot more via the SES scheme. I think his intentions were good, and at the start, it might have actually attracted a few good candidates from the private sector. But after a while, it simply became a gravy train for the more ambitious types already within the public service.

  44. JimD

    PvO is wrong about the HREOC everything.
    FIFY

  45. David

    Malcolm Turnbull will make a fine Governor General and first President of this Commonwealth

    1119357 you have got to be smoking something you shouldn’t.

    Name just one Republic in the last 200 years that has had the stability of a Constitutional Monarchy. How would you like our little Kevni for a President for that is just what you would get – a jumped up little pollie snuffling in the trough. It is not the power that a constitutional monarch has but the power He/She denies to the political class.

    FFS apply some logic to your thought processes.

  46. Dan

    Sabrina I think there probably are human rights problems here like everywhere but the government is the cause of many rather than a possible solution. There are plenty of people passionate about the issue who can work on it as a hobby/philanthropy.

  47. .

    FFS apply some logic to your thought processes.

    Indeed.

    The British had a civil war in the home countries from 1916 to 1921.

    It is not the power that a constitutional monarch has but the power He/She denies to the political class.

    The Australian PM has royal prerogatives now they were never meant to have.

  48. .

    Dan
    #1119689, posted on December 21, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Sabrina I think there probably are human rights problems here like everywhere but the government is the cause of many rather than a possible solution. There are plenty of people passionate about the issue who can work on it as a hobby/philanthropy.

    I’d say that is correct…look at police brutality, prison management, asylum seekers (like it or not), s18C of the RDA, the proposed press council, how the ATO makes its own rulings and even the plight of Peter Spencer.

  49. Tel

    I think a Snowcone is an excellent unit of renumeration (sic).

    Very close to 1/6 th of a Snowcone is a median Australian wage, which would make about a sample cup.

  50. Richard

    @BOAB
    As a reasonably well-informed person who doesn’t live in NSW but who has spent time there and has relatives who live there, I thought that Greiner was a breath of fresh air. He seemed to me to be doing the right thing. I think his biggest fault was to think that everyone wanted to do the right thing. If you’re honest and abide by the law, you don’t stand a chance against the left-wing machine.

  51. Alfonso

    “Malcolm Turnbull for Goveror General”
    No ,no…. we need a proper far left social engineer with values that involve the Mardi Gras…who better than ex Justice Kirby to reflect Australian values…..trumped only by any available one legged Aboriginal whose diet of alcohol and refined carbs is obviously someone else’s fault.
    So much talent so little time.

  52. Armadillo

    they should volunteer and do their useless work for free.

    Tim Flannery is somewhere in between. On the bright side, we aren’t paying for it.

  53. Percy

    Speaking of PVO, anyone know who’s taking over Contrarians in 2014?

  54. Crossie

    Stott-Despoja appointed to head off a senate run for the ALP in S.A.? Turnbull should never be allowed near the levers of power, in my opinion.

    Natasha should not be allowed near any levers of power either. What do Liberals owe her? What does any party owe her?

    For the next GG how about Jeff Kennett? Or Kerry Chikarovski if you must have a woman again.

  55. Crossie

    Public service salaries should have a scale and in this order:

    Prime Minister
    State Premier
    Deputy Prime Minister
    Minister
    Department Head
    Governor General
    Governor
    Statutory Body Head
    Backbencher/Senator

  56. Bons

    You have got to admire his courage. Trigg’s total focus will be to limit and undermine him. How long will it be before he is fitted-out with some made-up workplace accusation.

  57. Fred Lenin

    I suggest ALL these Bludging Maggots take a salary cut to $1000 per annum with $100 annyal expenses ,Useless Bludgers even at that rate they are overpaid ,Pontificating Arrogant,Self Important Wankers ,get rid of the Bloody Lot !

  58. Tel

    Natasha should not be allowed near any levers of power either. What do Liberals owe her? What does any party owe her?

    My opinion is that the Liberals don’t owe her. They handed her a mug of beer, she drank it down and found a penny in the bottom. Voluntary agreement for mutual benefit no doubt!

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