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THE Queensland Rail boss pocketed almost $1m last year as his company battled damning safety problems, train overcrowding and the Riverfire affair.
Chief executive Lance Hockridge took home a total package of $981,000 for 2008-09 after being responsible for the $25,000 in taxpayer funds wasted on a luxury Riverfire function cancelled over its largesse.
The QR annual report reveals the CEO salary clearly for the first time this year, after multiple people held the role in 2006-07 and 2007-08, muddying the figures.
In the last annual report to show a single CEO salary, former boss Bob Schueber earned a $447,000 package in 2005-06.
Mr Hockridge's $981,000 package makes him the highest paid government-owned corporation chief or public servant.
QR yesterday defended the salary, saying that profit increased 38 per cent to $298 million during the period, while dividends to the Government rose 37 per cent to $215 million.
The group has been mired in controversy, including damning leaked safety reports and two fatal passenger train derailments. QR also has overseen an overcrowded CityTrain network and a bungled new timetable for services that did not exist.
A QR spokesman yesterday said salaries were determined in line with GOC guidelines and the broader market and were subject to independent evaluation by a remuneration consultant.
The top executive in charge of QR's passenger services, Paul Scurrah, received a $422,000 package, up from $372,000.
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