'None of your business': Scott Cam defends $350k government gig

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·2-min read
Scott Cam's appearance on Sky News turned defensive. Photo: Sky News
Scott Cam's appearance on Sky News turned defensive. Photo: Sky News

TV tradie Scott Cam has defended his whopping taxpayer-funded paycheque for 18 months of work as the ambassador for skills under the NSW Skills Department, telling Sky News the justification and negotiation for his salary was ‘none of their business’.

Cam made headlines in December 2019 when it was announced he would work with the government to increase the numbers of young people going into trades.

The Block host has so far pocketed $145,000 of a jaw-dropping $350,000 salary five months into the 18-month role.

Scott, who has 34k Facebook likes and 80k Instagram followers, is intended to steer students away from universities and towards trade, though he has so far made only three appearances for the department.

"That is the value of the brand and the profile the government seem fit to pay me," he told Sky News on Tuesday in response to mounting criticism.

"I have a high profile and the government wanted to utilise that.”

Skills Department officials told Senate estimates last week Cam had appeared in three short videos, made four social media posts and put a profile on a government website, though it was announced at least 12 more appearances are scheduled for the well-paid ambassador.

"If you did your homework and knew what you were talking about, you'd work out that all of the tours and appointments we're going to see are school-based," he said, adding that with summer holidays only wrapping up last month, in-person appearances weren’t possible.

The Block host argued he had been active in his role regardless, saying media appearances for his TV show which mentioned the ambassadorship counted as part of his media obligations.

When pressed on the necessity of such a hefty fee in a taxpayer-funded position and how the number was decided by reporter Annelise Nielsen Scott said: "That's none of your business".

National tour launched

Scott Cam was announced as the ambassador for skills in October. Photo: AAP
Scott Cam was announced as the ambassador for skills in October. Photo: AAP

Scott launched his national tour alongside Skills Minister Michaelia Cash on Tuesday, promising he has 12 appearances booked so far.

The appointment was announced by the National Careers Institute in October, a new national career information commission.

The gold-Logie winner’s branch into government comes after an illustrious career on the screen.

Starting out on Backyard Blitz, the host has made a name for himself off the back of his tradie past, though it remains to be seen if his latest appearance will continue to endear him to the future VET students he intends to attract.

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has been contacted for comment.

With additional reporting from AAP

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