Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called on the country’s state postal operator to reconsider the pay awarded to its chief executive.
It has emerged that Ahmed Fahour earned A$5.6m ($4.3m; £3.4m) last year – more than ten times the PM’s salary.
Mr Turnbull said the remuneration was “too high”.
Australia Post defended the payout, saying it included a bonus due to Mr Fahour who steered the business from loss to profit in 2016.
The organisation is government-owned, with politicians on all sides saying the salary was too high for a civil servant.
Mr Fahour’s total payout for the year to June 2016, included a A$1.2m bonus as well as all other benefits including superannuation (pension contributions), Australia Post said.
“It’s a very competitive business and we need to pay competitive salaries,” the firm’s chairman John Stanhope told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
He added that all the firm’s profits – and almost three-quarters of its sales – came from its parcel business, which competed against the likes of DHL and FedEx.
The salary details emerged after a request from Australia’s Senate.
Australia Post stopped routinely publishing executive pay information after its 2014-15 annual report, but Mr Stanhope said there had been “no intended secrecy, or lack of transparency”.