FactCheck Social Media

Is Daniel Andrews really a multimillionaire?

2020-10-19 17:54:35

The Statement

A social media post claims Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews the “famous politician” has a net worth of $91 million – with one Facebook user questioning how he managed to earn the large sum as a public servant.

The Facebook post includes an image stating the sum, adding that he “earned the money being a professional Politician”.

The text in the image cites “Wikipedia, Forbes, IMDb & Various Online resources” as the sources of its information.

The caption on the post reads: “Please explain how you got this money being a public servant?”

At the time of writing, the October 12 post had been viewed more than 22,000 times and shared more than 370 times.

Facebook post
 A Facebook post claims Daniel Andrews’ net worth is million. 

The Analysis

While the Victorian premier is the highest-paid state or territory leader in Australia, there is no evidence that his net worth is $91 million – nor do any of the stated resources include references to his purported wealth.

Daniel Andrews has been premier of Victoria since December 2014 after serving as opposition leader (2010-2014) and a minister in the Labor governments led by Steve Bracks and John Brumby. He was first elected to the state parliament in the seat of Mulgrave in 2002.

The Facebook post claims information about the premier’s net worth was sourced from Wikipedia, Forbes and IMDb, but AAP FactCheck found no evidence that these sources provide any information about his wealth.

The Victorian premier’s Wikipedia entry makes no mention of his net worth, only including a line about a salary increase in 2019.

That year, Mr Andrews became the highest-paid state leader in Australia after the Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal increased his total salary and allowances to $441,439. This consisted of the base salary of $182,413 received by all the state’s MPs, an additional premier’s salary of $203,542 and an expense allowance of $55,484.

Assuming Mr Andrews paid tax on the full sum, he would be left with an after-tax income of $269,594 based on rates for the 2019-20 financial year. If he were to continue on that income, it would take the premier more than 337 years to amass a fortune of $91 million.

AAP FactCheck also found no information relating to the premier’s net worth on the Forbes website nor on his listing on film information site IMDb.

However, the text in the Facebook image matches wording used on the website Trend Celebs Now, although the site’s name is missing from the post. Under a heading ‘Daniel Andrews  (sic) Net Worth’, the website lists the premier’s net worth and annual salary as “under review”.

Members of the Victorian parliament are required to submit regular returns detailing financial and other interests that are relevant to their public roles. Under the relevant laws, anyone who breaches the disclosure rules can be held in contempt of the state parliament, fined or even pursued for criminal charges.

According to the most recent Register of Interests, dated July 28, Mr Andrews’ only asset was his home in Mulgrave in Melbourne’s southeast (page 29). According to the Herald-Sun, Mr Andrews bought a house in Mulgrave in 2002 for around $251,000, although in 2016 the newspaper put its value at “closer to $1 million”.

The median sale price for a three-bedroom home in Mulgrave during the past 12 months is $826,000, according to Domain.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews
 Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews lists his only asset as a home in the Melbourne suburb of Mulgrave. 

The Verdict

There is no evidence that Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has a net worth of $91 million. The sources cited in the post contain no information to corroborate the claim, while Mr Andrews’ declared interests indicate that his only asset is a house in Melbourne and his only regular income is his parliamentary salary.

False – Content that has no basis in fact.

* AAP FactCheck is accredited by the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network, which promotes best practice through a stringent and transparent Code of Principles. https://aap.com.au/