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QUEENSLAND Rail and Translink executives pocketed almost $13 million in "performance bonuses" in 2011-12 despite public transport experiencing one of its worst years on record.
Figures published in annual reports show 1490 staff at Queensland Rail received bonuses totalling $12.7 million - up from $9.3 million in 2010-11.
Just three Translink executives shared in $147,000 in sweeteners, based on "Translink targets and key performance indicators".
The pay top-ups came despite a series of network meltdowns that stranded and delayed thousands of commuters, prompting a "fare free day" that cost around $2 million.
Translink also acknowledged in its annual report that customer satisfaction with affordability had fallen to a record low, and patronage had "levelled out".
It could be the last year big bonuses are paid to the transport execs with Transport Minister Scott Emerson announcing in July he had ordered a freeze of all Queensland Rail bonuses, saying the current structure was "not meeting community expectations, particularly in tough times".
"I think most people would take a dim view of bonuses at a time when we are making hard decisions to get Queensland back on track," Mr Emerson said.
Other key government personnel to score bigger pay packets were the Transport and Main Roads Director-General, who will pocket around $70,000 more than his predecessor.
Michael Caltabiano will receive a base salary of $479,000, compared with former DG Dave Stewart who earned $409,000.
The substantial increase comes at a time when Mr Caltabiano is overseeing the removal of up to 2000 staff, as part of a major restructure of his department.
Education, Training and Employment Director-General Julie Grantham saw her base salary leap from $352,000 to $409,000 - a 16 per cent increase - at the same time as teachers were being offered a 2.7 per cent pay rise.
Even the 77.8 staff of the Public Service Commission, who have overseen the cuts to the government's workforce, are each pocketing an average $11,000 more than 76 staff earned under the previous Labor regime.
The Office of Queensland Governor, Penelope Wensley was another area seemingly immune to the budget axe.
In 2011-12, Her Excellency maintained a staff of 37.5 people while employee expenses increased nearly $300,000.
This article first appeared on www.heraldsun.com.au
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