| Last updated
The CEO of Australian Post has been encouraged to step down from her role after an explosive revelation showed how the company spent some of its money.
Four executives were given $12,000 worth of Cartier watches from Australia Post for doing a 'good job' in October 2018. The luxury timepieces were awarded to the team members who worked on its [email protected] project.
AusPost CEO Christine Holgate insists no taxpayer money was used for the gifts and backed the decision to hand out the reward.
"They were a small number of senior people who had put in an inordinate amount of work and they did receive an award," Ms Holgate said at a Senate estimates hearing.
"They were a Cartier watch of about a value of $3000 each.
"I didn't actually purchase them. They were organised through my office on behalf of the chair and I."
The Communications Department has ordered a thorough investigation into the revelation and will specifically look into the 'matter and conduct of board members, their governance, and the actions of the management and executives involved', according to News Corp.
While that investigation is ongoing, Ms Holgate has been urged to stand down.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison didn't hold back when the details of the luxury gifts were made public at the hearing, adding that if the CEO doesn't step aside, then 'she can go'.
"I was appalled and it is disgraceful and not on," Mr Morrison said. "[If] there are issues to be addressed with board members, then they will be addressed then.
"We are the shareholders of Australia Post on behalf of the Australian people."
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher told parliament he was similarly shocked by the splashing of cash on the Cartier watches.
"I have spoken to the chair of Australia Post, I have explained... that the boards and managements of government business enterprises need to take great care with taxpayers' money," Mr Fletcher said.
"I have also asked the chair to inform the chief executive and she will be asked to stand aside during the course of this investigation."
A previous hearing heard Australia Post had spent $700,000 on potted plants between 2018 and 2020. The greenery was spread out across more than 25 offices nationwide from Frenchams indoor plants service.
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read