Shire Local News

Job on the side a must for Cronulla MP

CRONULLA MP Mark Speakman says he needs to keep working part-time as a barrister because politics is “an uncertain existence”.

Mr Speakman is among state MPs whose “moonlighting” has attracted attention after legislation was enacted to stop members serving as both MPs and local councillors.

The government’s stance is that being an MP is a full-time job.

Mr Speakman, a Senior Counsel, entered Parliament at the last election. His previous earnings would have been far higher than the $156,987 he receives as an MP, which includes base salary and expense allowance, and an extra payment for being chairman of the ICAC Committee.

He also receives an electoral allowance of $41,110.

Mr Speakman said his continuing role as a barrister, in which he specialises in commercial law, did not detract from his electoral work.

“My priority is being a full-time MP for Cronulla, on which I spend 50, 60, 70 hours a week,” he said.

“It varies from week to week.

“I have also got a small sideline business as a barrister.

“Politics is no longer a career for life.

“It’s an uncertain existence, and it’s important if you are going to attract professionals into Parliament that they are able to keep their skills up, and they can probably make a better contribution to Parliament [doing that].”

Mr Speakman estimated he spent 10 per cent of his time on his law practice, and it was predominantly advice work.

“I have spent two days in court this year,” he said.

Should Mark Speakman be working on the side?

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