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Ruddock pockets envoy and ex-MP pay

AAP logoAAP 20/10/2016 Lisa Martin

Philip Ruddock is pocketing his parliamentary pension on top of a generous salary for being Australia's special envoy on human rights, a Senate hearing has been told.

The former Liberal MP who served in federal parliament for close to 44 years, was appointed to the envoy position in February, while he was still in politics.

Foreign affairs department officials told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra on Thursday that Mr Ruddock has carried out five overseas trips this year to Geneva, east Africa, Ghana, Norway and southern Africa.

Mr Ruddock was appointed to champion Australia's bid to join the United Nations Human Rights Council which will be decided in October 2017.

A department official told the hearing Mr Ruddock was paid at senior executive level band two rate for the days he is engaged.

The notional total remuneration for executives at that level is $274,507 to $310,598.

"It's not a full time arrangement," an official said.

Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong asked if Mr Ruddock's parliamentary pension was reduced to take into account his envoy earnings.

Mr Ruddock had sought legal advice about his pension.

The hearing was told he receives his full pension and is also paid for the days he works as the special envoy.

Senator Wong said this was "bizarre" because in the past former MPs who take government jobs have had their pensions cut.

Officials took further questions on the matter on notice.

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