Like most Australians I thought the decision by Australia Post management to gift $20,000 worth of
Cartier watches to its executives, was stupid. No doubt the Chair and CEO now think so too.
It may have been different if Australia Post was gong through a period of strong community support
but sadly, that is not the case. Having said that, the deal the organisation’s executives struck with
the Banks to deliver banking services through Post Offices was a good one which will benefit many
regional communities. Further, in this era when we all too-often hear of big executive bonuses, if the
four executives had each been given $5,000 in cash it would not have rated a mention.
But the big issue is contrast. While the Australia Post CEO was effectively and immediately run out-
of-town for a $20,000 misjudgement, not one person has been held to account - let alone stood
aside - for a $30 million payment, for a block of land in Western Sydney worth $3 million. That’s $30
million of taxpayers’ money.
The Prime Minister expressed great anger in the House of Representatives when asked about the
Cartier watches last week but a series of questions about the Western Sydney land purchase failed
to elicit a similar response. I don’t have space here to list them all, but readers are familiar with any
number of recent government programs which involved poorly spent money well beyond the value
of $20,000. The hypocrisy and inconsistency stinks.