Under pressure from the Labor Opposition, the Berejiklian Government has finally and reluctantly confirmed that the head of WestConnex is the highest paid employee of the state.
The revelation in the NSW Parliament today followed repeated requests by the NSW Labor Opposition, one as late as last month.
In April the Government said it didn’t know but today it has finally released the figure, sneaking it out onto the WestConnex website at the eleventh hour.
Buried in the WestConnex website’s FAQs, it confirms that Mr Dennis Cliche, the chief executive of the Sydney Motorway Corporation, stands to earn a total remuneration package of up to $968,625 a year. On top of this he will receive bonuses of up to $143,500 if he succeeds in meeting certain targets.
His annual remuneration package puts him in a league above the Premier ($377,780) and the state’s previously highest-paid public servant, Blair Comley, head of Department of Premier and Cabinet ($670,656).
Only now does the public learn the size of his salary following two freedom of information requests thwarted by the NSW Government.
For purposes of political convenience the Sydney Motorway Corporation is registered as a private company that falls outside of freedom of information laws.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Roads Minister Jodi McKay
“This Government has done everything in its power to keep the head of WestConnex’s salary a secret.
“It’s taken pressure from the Labor Opposition to force them to finally share their dirty little secret that Dennis Cliché is the state’s highest paid employee of the state.
“To pay someone a million dollars to oversee a project that has been plagued by cost blowouts and multiple changes is an insult to the Western Sydney motorists who face paying around $2,000 a year once the tolls come back onto the widened M4.”