Thursday, 18 February 2021 10:58

NBN Co staff pocket $78m in bonuses in the midst of pandemic

NBN Co staff pocket $78m in bonuses in the midst of pandemic Image by ?Merry Christmas ? from Pixabay

A total of $78 million in bonuses was paid to employees of NBN Co, the company that is rolling out Australia's national broadband network, in the 2020 financial year, when the country went into recession.

The amount was almost double the $43 million paid out for the same reason in the previous financial year, The Age reported.

The budget for the NBN has blown out to a shade short of $57 billion, almost double the $29.5 that was originally forecast by the Coalition Government. The company is yet to report any profit.

Figures provided to Parliament on Wednesday showed that the big bosses, including chief executive Stephen Rue, were paid $4.3 million in short-term incentives.

The extra money was paid because the company exceeded its targets for the financial year.

Another $73.2 million was paid to 6000 employees, with some of the payments being for previous financial years.

The newspaper quoted Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching as saying: "[Communications] Minister [Paul] Fletcher and NBN Co bosses are oblivious to the pain that the Australian people have felt during this pandemic.”

An NBN Co spokesman said: “The [short-term incentive] program for FY20 was an ‘at risk’ component of pay as it first depended on company performance where threshold metrics were set at the beginning of the operating year and made public through the Corporate Plan. Individual performance was also a key consideration.”

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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