The nation's farmer-funded and taxpayer-funded red meat research and marketing body, Meat and Livestock Australia, is refusing to reveal how much its top executive earns.
That's despite its own figures indicating it was $774,198 last financial year.
The apparent remuneration for MLA managing director Jason Strong was gleaned from figures in MLA's 2022-23 annual report and subsequent figures provided by the company.
However, when the $774,198 figure was put to MLA, it said "that figure is incorrect".
But the company would not indicate if it was incorrect by a small or large amount. Nor would it reveal his remuneration.
MLA's 2022-23 annual report revealed the total compensation of MLA directors for the year was $1,471,382.
However, unlike every MLA annual report since 2013-14, the report did not break down how much of that was paid to the eight non-executive directors.
After repeated queries, MLA admitted the non-executive directors were paid $697,184 in 2022-23.
The remaining $774,198 would appear to be the remuneration for the only executive director on the board - Mr Strong.
A source familiar with MLA financials confirmed this calculation would reveal the managing director remuneration.
The indicative 2022-23 amount for Mr Strong was slightly higher than the $770,483 he appeared to have received the previous financial year.
The apparent slight overall increase for Mr Strong came in a period when red-meat producer incomes have plunged.
The Eastern States Young Cattle Indicator has been in free-fall for the past 12 months, dropping from 1019c/kg in November 2022 to 409c/kg this week.
It has also come as industry speculation has intensified over Mr Strong's salary.
MLA received $97.7 million from grower levies and $94.3 million from taxpayers in 2022-23, on a total income of $283.8 million.
The MLA annual report revealed it had 50,137 levy payers in 2022-23, a slight increase from the previous year.
When asked why it would not reveal Mr Strong's remuneration, MLA said that as an industry-owned company "MLA is not obliged to disclose individual director remuneration".
That stood in contrast to its cropping counterpart, Grains Research and Development Corporation.
As a statutory body, GRDC must report individual board and executive remuneration.
Its annual reports revealed GRDC managing director Nigel Hart earned a total package of $555,441 in 2022-23.
GRDC received $261 million in grower levies, and $132 million in taxpayer funds for the financial year.
David Foote, chair of Cattle Australia, the representative body for grass-fed cattle levy payers, said it was "not unreasonable for a company funded by compulsory levies and taxpayer R&D funding to be transparent in most areas of operations that are not commercial in confidence".
"If other statutory RDCs are required to report that level of detail - then I expect it is not unreasonable for MLA to do the same," Mr Foote said.
When asked what CA would like to see MLA doing, that it was not currently doing, he said: "help assist improved pricing and drive demand to better utilise the increased supply - CA would wish for MLA to increase marketing and promotional activities here in the domestic market".
The remuneration impasse has come after MLA last month announced it was conducting an independent performance review.
"The review is looking for feedback on a range of issues in relation to MLA's funding arrangement with the Commonwealth, including research priority setting, cross-industry collaboration, governance arrangements, demonstration of outcomes, along with a range of other issues," Jason Strong said at the time.
Last week South Australian beef producer Mark Wheal took aim at MLA, saying the selection process for the MLA board was "archaic" and "undemocratic".
"We are getting less for our sheep and cattle but still paying the same levies which make up a higher proportion of that animal so it is even more important MLA are accountable to producers," Mr Wheal said.
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