Daniel Andrews acknowledged his "privileged position" during a visit to Shepparton yesterday, after a journalist questioned his entitlement to an 11.8 per cent wage increase.
The pay rise will make Victoria's premier the highest paid of all Australia's state and territory leaders, with a salary of $422 562 by mid-2020.
Mr Andrews emphasised he had no part in the pay increase, after vowing before last year's election to leave it to the remuneration tribunal to decide what politicians earn.
“I've had no involvement with this, no member of parliament has had any involvement with this, because those days are over," he said.
“This is the way it happens in Canberra and this is the way it should be, independent of us making those decisions.
“We set up a process that was independent and the ruling for that has been made.”
Mr Andrews said he was under no illusions about the generous salary he and other politicians earn, but said he would not dispute the decision.
“We understand that we are well paid for the work that we do — I’ve known that from the moment I walked into parliament 17 years ago — and that’s why I spend every minute of every day working as hard as I can to repay the community,” he said.