Outgoing Canberra Liberals Leader Zed Seselja will likely take a pay cut in base salary if his bid to roll Gary Humphries for his seat in the Senate is successful.
Mr Seselja, who will resign from the ACT Opposition leadership on Monday to challenge ACT Senator Gary Humphries for his upper house seat, would be sacrificing about $20,000 of salary by moving into federal politics.
As Opposition Leader, Mr Seselja earns about $213,000, a figure made up of the $125,259 base salary for MLAs and the Opposition leader’s allowance of $87,681.
As a senator, his salary would fall to a base of $190,550 but with extra benefits including electorate and travel allowances.
Mr Seselja also receives additional benefits for his work in the Legislative Assembly, where he is entitled to up to $475 per overnight stay for domestic travel, as well as reimbursement for overseas travel on Assembly business.
As a non-executive member he can also spend up to $24,000 per four-year term on study and for a nominated person to travel with him on Assembly-related business. He is given access to car for work and personal use.
Mr Seselja’s allowances in the Senate would vary but could be significant.
A Senator can have up to 30 domestic overnight stays per year and be entitled to a travel allowance between $250 and $400 per night, depending on which city or regional location they stay in.
In addition, a Senator from the ACT is allowed an extra 11 nights travel allowance each year to visit Norfolk Island.
Within limits, a Senator is entitled to be accompanied or joined when travelling at Commonwealth expense on parliamentary, electorate or official business by any one or more of the senator’s family members.
The basic electorate allowance is $32,000 a year. This is to cover the cost of providing services to constituents. Senators are also provided with use of a private-plated car.
In announcing his plans to take on Mr Humphries in a head-to-head race for the Senate seat earlier this week, Mr Seselja said he was turning his focus to federal politics because he believed he was the best person to represent the ACT.
“I’m taking this step because I think I’m the best person to represent the ACT and the ACT Liberal Party in the Federal Parliament,” he said.