World News – AU – Australia Post boss stands on the sidelines as $ 12,000 watch purchase is investigated

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Australia Post director Christine Holgate will be forced to step down after the federal government orders an investigation into the purchase of $ 12,000 of luxury watches for senior citizens

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was « so appalled and shocked » by the revelations, revealed during a Senate budget hearing, that the government immediately opened an investigation into the scandal

Christine Holgate to step down as CEO of Australia Post while an investigation into the purchase of luxury watches is underway Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

M Morrison told Parliament on Thursday Ms Holgate was instructed to step down, adding that « if she does not wish to do this she can leave »

He said the investigation would extend to the conduct of the Australia Post board and governance, as well as actions by management and senior executives

« This report will come back to me and to the members of my cabinet, if, Mr President, there are problems to be resolved with the members of the board of directors, then they will be, » said Mr. Morrison during question time

Ms Holgate admitted during a Senate estimate hearing earlier Thursday that her office had purchased Cartier watches worth $ 3,000 each for four senior employees as a reward for negotiating a deal with australian banks

« I did not use taxpayer money We are a commercial organization We do not receive government funding, » Ms. Holgate said

Ms Holgate said the watches were handed over to senior employees Gary Starr, Deanne Keetelaar, Anna Bennett and Greg Sutherland for their work on the Bank @ Post deal with Commonwealth Bank, Westpac Bank and National Australia Bank to enable them to access banking services services in Australian post offices

« There were a small number of senior executives who overworked and they received an award from the chairman, myself and on behalf of the board, » Ms Holgate told the committee

Christine Holgate defended the decision to buy four Cartier watches for her employees as a reward for negotiating a deal with Australian banksCredit: Alex Ellinghausen

Asked by Labor Senator Kimberley Kitching about the award, Ms Holgate said: « It was a Cartier watch valued at $ 3,000 each »

M Starr, executive managing director for business, government and international, also called to testify at the hearing, told the committee he is not currently wearing the watch

CFO Rodney Boys said he was unsure which company credit card was used to purchase the watches

« I can’t [tell you] because I didn’t get this question today Australia Post has $ 7 4 billion spending We pay for these expenses and take great care of these expenses, » a declared M Boys at the hearing

Union communications spokeswoman Michelle Rowland said the giveaways were « unacceptable » and said the Australia Post board was « incapable of executive control and needed to be cleaned up »

Ms Holgate was also thrilled with her decision to take One Nation leader Pauline Hanson on a VIP tour of a Brisbane parcel facility in July, 11 days after a debacle over delivery of stocky incumbents by Senator Hanson to a locked audience in Melbourne housing tower

She said there was no connection « at all » between the two events, saying « it was a coincidence »

The tour took place at the same time as the organization was trying to win the One Nation critical vote to prevent a temporary easing of daily postal services canceled by the Senate Earlier that month, Senator Hanson attempted to ‘send 114 packages to the social housing tower which she described as « drug addicts » and « alcoholics »

The packages were intercepted by Melbourne City Council, prompting Australia Post General Counsel and Secretary General Nick Macdonald to write to the council threatening to contact « the police or other relevant authorities « unless the 114 packages are delivered » without further delay « 

Ms Holgate told the hearing that she had not personally contacted Senator Hanson or her office about the delivery and that the organization resolved the issue with the council later in the day

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Lisa Visentin is a federal political reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, which covers education and communications

Christine Holgate

World News – AU – Australia Post boss stands on the sidelines as $ 12,000 watch purchase is investigated



SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com

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