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Aurizon execs face backlash over pay

Nov 13, 2013News

Aurizon stakeholders have fired a warning shot at the company over its payment of executives.

The so called ‘first-strike’ came despite an attempt from the company to allay concerns by making it harder for managers to earn bonuses. About 28 per cent of proxies cast against the remuneration report, delivering the first strike against the company under the ‘two-strikes’ rule.

Shareholders also raised concerns about the granting of share options to Lance Hockridge, the chief executive of the Queensland rail company, saying the grants were excessive.

The investor ire puts the company’s board a step closer to facing a spill. Even before the meeting this week, Aurizon chairman John Prescott had faced calls from the shareholders association for him to stand down.

Lance Hockridge received a 34 per cent pay rise in his total pay package last financial year, with his $6.1million pay pack making him one of the country’s highest-paid executives. The year before his pay was $4.57 million a year.

At the shareholder meeting, Aurizon also reiterated that the amount of coal it will haul this financial year will be between 200 million and 205 million tonnes despite a strong performance in the first quarter.