How much will governor-general Sam Mostyn be paid? New laws reveal huge pay rise ahead of swearing-in

Andrew Brown
Incoming governor-general Sam Mostyn is set to score a salary much higher than her predecessor.
Incoming governor-general Sam Mostyn is set to score a salary much higher than her predecessor. Credit: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Australia’s next governor-general is set for a pay rise when she takes on the role, with federal parliament set to vote to determine the salary of the role.

Sam Mostyn will be sworn in next Monday as Australia’s 28th governor-general, replacing the outgoing David Hurley.

But how much she will be paid in the top job during her five-year term will be determined by MPs and senators, with laws introduced on Monday that will set out her paycheck.

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Ms Mostyn will be paid $709,017 for each year as governor-general, compared to $495,000 annually for Mr Hurley.

However, Mr Hurley also received military pensions on top of his salary as governor-general.

Assistant Public Service Minister Patrick Gorman said the higher salary for Ms Mostyn also reflected her not receiving other Commonwealth entitlements, compared to her predecessors in the role.

“The constitution prevents the governor-general’s salary from being altered during their term of office,” he told parliament.

“As such, it is necessary to set the next governor-general salary at a level appropriate for the duration of this term.”

The governor-general’s salary is determined by the estimated average salary of the chief justice of the High Court.

As preparations are made for Ms Mostyn to be sworn in, a painting was unveiled at Parliament House of the outgoing governor-general.

The official portrait, painted by artist Jude Rae, shows Mr Hurley standing in a forest that had been hit by bushfires, with trees showing signs of recovery.

Mr Hurley, who regularly toured disaster regions after bushfires, said the background of the portrait was significant.

“The background is actually far more important in this portrait, because it’s about us as a country. When you see it, it’s about us as a people, representing some of the difficulties we have experienced in the nation over the last five years,” he said.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid tribute to Mr Hurley’s service as governor-general during the portrait’s unveiling.

“This new portrait represents the culmination of a remarkable life of public service,” he said.

“As it hangs in place here in the heart of our nation’s democracy, this portrait will be another very welcome facet of your legacy, and an enduring reminder of your example. Yours has been a life of compassion. A life of devotion.”


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