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DEPARTMENT of transport secretary Jim Betts got a $20,000 pay increase while Victoria recorded its worst on-time completion rate for road and rail projects in three years.
He took home at least $400,000 in 2011-12, up from at minimum $380,000 the year before, according to the department's annual report tabled in parliament yesterday.
A long serving fat-cat who left the body after 27 years received a whopping package of at least $500,000.
A further 55 DOT executives were paid between $100,000 and $379,000.
Public Transport Victoria Chairman and CEO Ian Dobbs, who was appointed on December 22, was paid at least $230,000.
PTV spokesman Matt Phelan said Mr Dobbs was only paid for his CEO role and not the chairman's position.
The report also revealed several transport projects were running late, with only 50 per cent completed on time - well below the target of 80 per cent and down from 59 per cent in 2010-11 and 69 per cent in 2009-10.
Bad weather, inability to access tracks and late awarding of a delivery contract were among the reasons given for the delays.
DOT and PTV posted a combined $91.4 million loss compared to DOT's $70.2 million surplus the previous year.
"This deficit is primarily due to the expensing by DOT for asset transfers to other public sector entities that would normally have been recognised as contributed capital," the report said.
Opposition transport spokeswoman Fiona Richardson said the report showed costs were up but services continued to decline.
"With payments to executives on the rise and more than $100 million being spent on consultancies there must be some very happy fat cats thanks to this Liberal Minister. This is a real poke in the eye for commuters whose services are declining," Ms Richardson said.
Greens transport spokesman Greg Barber said he thought a chunk of the Government's 8.6 per cent fare increase meant to raise millions to improve public transport "went straight to the bosses' salaries".
Community and public sector union state secretary Karen Batt said executives across the public services had rewarded themselves at the time of serious job and service cuts.
Department spokeswoman Jo Weeks defended Mr Betts' remuneration, saying he oversaw Victoria's entire transport system.
"(His) remuneration ... was consistent with other public sector organisations, with any increase attributed to a modest performance component for a two year period and standard adjustments in line with Government wages policies," Ms Weeks said.
She said the report showed "significant improvements" had been made, including the opening of the Cardinia Road and Lynbrook stations, the South Morang duplication and extension, the progression of the East West Link business case and the commencement of studies into new rail lines to Doncaster, Rowville, Avalon and Melbourne Airport.
Larissa Garvin, a spokeswoman for Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said the Government was making a record investment to fix Labor's neglect of Victoria's road and public transport system and the report showed significant improvements had been made.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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