BREAKING: PM Demands Aus Post CEO Step Down After $12,000 Cartier Watch Revelation
The biggest delivery company for consumer electronics in Australia, Aus Post, is facing a major scandal with the Prime Minister stepping in this afternoon to demand CEO Christine Holgate stand down.
An inquiry into the spending of the government-owned investigation found Australia Post spent a whopping $12000 on Cartier watches as gifts to senior executives in 2018.
Holgate confirmed four $3000 watches were given to executive members Gary Starr, Deanne Keetelaar, Anna Bennett and Greg Sutherland in October 2018 as a reward for securing the “[email protected]” deal, which allows Australians to access banking services at Australia Post.
The questions surrounding the inflated jewellery expenditure is just one of the lines of enquiry the government is making into internal spending at Australia Post, including executive salaries.
Holgate has been asked to stand down as the government continues to investigate the matter.
Scott Morrison bluntly told Holgate – who has been CEO since October 2017 – if she doesn’t step aside “she can go” following the Cartier revelations.
“I was appalled and it is disgraceful and not on,” Morrison blasted Holgate during Question Time.
“So, immediately, I spoke with ministers and from those discussions, decided that there had to be an independent investigation done by the Department, not by Australia Post, and that the Chief Executive should stand aside immediately.”
“That report will come back to me and my members of my Cabinet and if there are issues to be addressed with board members, then they will be addressed then,” Morrison added.
“This all happened within an hour, so appalled and shocked was I by that behaviour, as any shareholder would in a company raise their outrage if they had seen that conduct, by a chief executive, the management or the board, they would insist rightly on the same thing.
“We are the shareholders of Australia Post on behalf of the Australian people, is that the action was immediate, and if the Chief Executive wished to stand aside, she has been instructed to stand aside, if she doesn’t wish to do that, she can go.”
While under questioning Holgate said the funds used to purchase the Cartier watches were not taxpayer money. Australia Post’s only shareholder is the Australian government.
“We do not receive government funding, we are a commercial organisation,” Holgate said.
“There were a small number of senior people who’d put in an inordinate amount of work in and they did receive an award from the chair, myself and on behalf of the board.
“It was a recommendation from our chair that these people get rewarded.”
Both retailers and distributors rely heavily on Australia Post, along with e-commerce services such as Amazon.