Australia Post chief executive Christine Holgate during Senate estimates in Canberra. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage
Australia Post chief executive Christine Holgate during Senate estimates in Canberra. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage

Australia Post chief resigns amid Cartier watch controversy

Embattled Australia Post chief Christine Holgate has resigned conceding rewarding staff with expensive watches did not pass the "pub test" but denying any wrongdoing.

Ms Holgate confirmed she had tendered her resignation on Monday in a two-page letter "with immediate effect" and was not "seeking any financial compensation".

Ms Holgate did not apologise for buying Cartier watches worth about $20,000 for four senior staff in 2018 after they secured a deal with the banks.

"I deeply regret that a decision made two years ago, which was supported by the Chair, to

recognise the outstanding work of four employees has caused so much debate and distraction and I appreciate the optics of the gifts involved do not pass the "pub test" for many," she said.

Ms Holgate said she would make herself "readily available" to participate in the investigation of the watch bonus "and any other issues of possible concern".

The outgoing boss said she had "no animosity" toward the federal government, and had "enjoyed" working with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, ministers in the portfolio and "other political leaders" during her tenure.

Ms Holgates comments were in stark contrast to a statement released by her lawyers last week, in which they claimed Mr Morrison had "humiliated" her in Parliament after the watch purchase was revealed.

Ms Holgate said she "firmly" still believed the people who achieved the bank deal for Australia Post "deserved recognition".

An investigation was launched by Prime Minister Scott Morrison into Australia Post.
An investigation was launched by Prime Minister Scott Morrison into Australia Post.

"Their work secured a $220m investment over the following years, which dramatically improved the financial performance of the company, protected a critical community services ... and made our community post offices sustainable for the long term," she said.

Ms Holdate said she was "deeply appreciative" of the "significant support" she had received from Australia Post's "people," "customers" and "partners".

"I have made this difficult decision to leave to enable Australia Post to be able to fully focus on

delivering for our customers," she said.

"My sincere apologies if my words or actions have offended others as this would never have been my intention because I have always held Australia Post in the greatest regard."


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