Disability scheme fat cats’ $23m pay packet

THERE are 94 executives paid a combined $23 million at the troubled National Disability Insurance Agency.

National Disability Insurance Scheme Minister Stuart Robert has defended the largesse, saying the organisation needed "an extraordinary group of executives" to run it.

He yesterday announced a new CEO for the organisation, Martin Hoffman, whom he has previously appointed to a government position.

The NDIA's previous CEO Robert De Luca, who resigned on the eve of the election, overtook the Prime Minister in salary.

His base salary was $566,000 for the year, above Scott Morrison's $538,000 at the time, though rose to $587,000 after benefits.

The previous year he was earning $523,000, which was just below the PM's pay packet.


The total number of executives at the organisation have increase by almost half compared to just last year, when just 66 top executives were employed.

As well as the nine key management personal taking home $420,000 and above, there are 94 executives with pay $111,000 to $574,000.

Staffing numbers within the NDIA increased to 3495 public servants from 2020 staff over the same time.

Mr Robert said there was no danger of the organisation becoming too top heavy or bureaucratic.

"Every organisation needs to have experienced executives. We're talking about a world-first, national endeavour. It hasn't been tried at this scale before," he said.

"We have 500,000 participants, all unique, all individual.

"This is an extraordinary national enterprise and it needs and extraordinary group of executives to run it."

Mr Robert said the organisation was 80 per cent complete in being set up and the remaining 20 per cent would be finalised in the next 12 months.

Government Services Minister Stuart Robert says the NDIS needs “extraordinary executives” to run it. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Government Services Minister Stuart Robert says the NDIS needs “extraordinary executives” to run it. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Opposition NDIS spokesman Bill Shorten said the head of the NDIA should not be making more than the Prime Minister.

"It is not right for the people at the top of the NDIA corporate ladder to be making themselves richer when so many people with a disability they are meant to serve are struggling to access services or basic equipment under the scheme," he said.

Mr Hoffman, appointed to be CEO on Thursday, has previously been appointed by Mr Robert in July to head a taskforce to reform the Department of Human Services.

"He's an impressive individual, a delightful family man, (he has) a real sense of compassion as well as drive," he said.

Mr Hoffman has previously been Secretary of the NSW Department of Finance and served in numerous public service and private enterprise roles.