The former travelling salesman turned independent candidate Lachlan Queenan committed to donating over $100,000 to charity if he won the seat of Dawson.
The former travelling salesman turned independent candidate Lachlan Queenan committed to donating over $100,000 to charity if he won the seat of Dawson. Emma Murray

Political hopeful commits to donate half his pay packet

ONE Dawson candidate has committed to donate half his parliamentary salary to charity if he is elected.

The former travelling salesman turned independent candidate Lachlan Queenan committed to donating over $100,000 to charity if he won the seat of Dawson.

Mr Queenan said the yearly parliamentary salary of $207,100 a year was far more than he needed.

According to the Parliament of Australia's website, the current pay-packet of a politician is almost three times what the average Australian man will make.

Mr Queenan said cutting his parliamentary wage in half, would leave him the same bank balance that he generated as a citizen.

"If I give up half my salary I would still be earning the same amount as I am now."

The novice political hopeful said "as an MP on training wheels I don't see why I shouldn't donate the salary."

In his three year term, Mr Queenan said he would donate a total of $310,650 to Dawson charities.

It's a moved Mr Queenan said would highlight the ridiculous salaries of parliamentarians.

With only 13 sitting weeks in Canberra, Mr Queenan said "I believe they're all overpaid"

He said his commitment was his attempt to bring some "integrity to the big house".

"I'm here for the national interest, not personal gain."

"I'm happy to give it away"

Despite working for half the pay, Mr Queenan said he was still committed to being a full time politician.

While Mr Queenan has not yet selected a charity, he said he was interested in homelessness and mental health issues.

He said he will be making the final decision, after the election, saying "I have to be elected first".

The generous commitment has raised some eyebrows. Mr Queensnan said he was told that the announcement could be classed as bribery.

But he said, like any other wage, he should be free to spend it how he wanted.

"It's my money and I can do whatever I like, " he said.


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