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Holgate quits as Australia Post boss over gifts that 'didn't pass the pub test'

Business

Christine Holgate has resigned as chief executive of Australia Post after an investigation was launched into the organisation’s gift and expenses culture.

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Holgate has been under immense scrutiny for several weeks after it was revealed Cartier watches worth almost $20,000 were given to senior staff.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison labelled the gifts disgraceful and appalling in a fiery speech to parliament, and declared if the embattled chief executive did not wish to stand aside “she can go”.

Holgate later accused the Prime Minister of humiliating her and said there were no legal grounds for her standing aside.

However, Holgate formally resigned her post on Monday afternoon.

“I have offered today the chairman and board of Australia Post, with great sadness, my resignation as chief executive with immediate effect,” she said in a statement.

“I am not seeking any financial compensation.”

Holgate said she would cooperate with a four-week investigation into Australia Post being conducted by the federal finance and communications departments.

She is standing by the purchase of luxury watches, saying the executives had sealed a banking deal worth $220 million.

“However, 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,” Holgate said.

“I appreciate the optics of the gifts involved did not pass the ‘pub test’ for many.”

Holgate said she had no animosity towards the government and enjoyed working with Morrison and shareholder ministers during her time at the organisation.

-AAP

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