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ACT Director of Public Prosecutions to get a pay rise after remuneration tribunal ruling

5 December 2017 3:01 AM
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The ACT's top prosecutor will receive a pay rise just short of what the territory's Supreme Court judges take home after a ruling by the remuneration tribunal.

ACT Director of Public Prosecution Jon White's base salary will rise by $8653 to $440,843, $167 short of what ACT Supreme Court judges are paid, after his office raised concerns that he had been "financially disadvantaged" by recent pay rises to those on the bench.

In a submission to the tribunal, ACT DPP director of corporate services Emma Flukes wrote that the pay disparity risked "reflecting poorly on the status of the role".

"The issues around how the ACT values the role of the Director of Public Prosecutions in terms of the perception of senior criminal lawyers both within the ACT and other jurisdictions. If the remuneration does not keep pace, it runs the risk of reflecting poorly on the status of the role and could lead external observer to the conclusion the ACT does not value the position as key member of the judicial arm of government in the same way as other states and territories do," she wrote.

"Consideration should also have been given to how the current occupant of the role may have been financially disadvantaged by the slippage given the increases afforded to his judicial peers since the most recent changes in 2016 and 2017."

ACT Remuneration Tribunal chair Dr Colin Adrian said the ACT Supreme Court judges' pay rises had been linked by legislation to those of Federal Court judges, but the DPP's salary was not tied to this.

The pay rise was one of several announced on Tuesday, increases Dr Adrian described as "fairly conservative".

"Our comment would be is we think it's a fair and reasonable level of remuneration under the economic circumstances we're in," Dr Adrian said.

The ACT's new prison watchdog will be paid $836 a day, the remuneration tribunal has also ruled.

Dr Adrian said the pay for the new Inspector of Correctional Services was based on that of the Public Advocate and the Victims of Crime Commissioner and would be capped at $192,372 a year.

The position is part-time and will provide oversight of the ACT's corrections system.

The legislation to establish the inspectorate passed the ACT Legislative Assembly last week and recruitment is expected to be finalised this month.

"We took advice from JACS, they outlined the position, the work value of the position, and we looked at whether there were any comparative positions, something interstate or within the ACT that might be analogous," Dr Adrian said.

Members of the ACT Sentence Administration Board will start to be paid per day, rather than per year, after chair Laura Beacroft and deputy chair Don Malcolmson wrote to the tribunal concerned the annual sum didn't reflect the hours judicial members put into the role.

Former ACT chief minister and current chair of the Board of Senior Secondary Studies Rosemary Follet will also receive a $10,000-a-year pay rise, after her role was significantly broadened.

She will now be paid $28,000 a year, short of the $30,000-$40,000 ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies executive director John Stenhouse had pushed for.

Also read: Former Canberra criminal lawyer Stephen Stubbs loses appeal in ACT court

Source: theage.com.au

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