New scandal for Australia Post boss
Australia Post reportedly forked out tens of thousands of dollars for Australia Post chief executive Christine Holgate's stay at a luxury hotel in Melbourne.
The company footed the $34,000 bill for Ms Holgate's nine-month stay in a Grand Hyatt suite in Melbourne's CBD, The Australianreports.
The newspaper reported Ms Holgate, who lives in Sydney, stayed at the five-star hotel when she commuted to the company's head office in Melbourne, with Australia Post picking up the tab between October 2017 and July 2018.
Australia Post confirmed to The Australian it had agreed to pay for Ms Holgate's accommodation costs in Melbourne for six months from her start date in October 2017.
She later extended her stay for a further three months, which was approved by the Remuneration Tribunal.
"The Remuneration Tribunal agreed to Australia Post providing accommodation support for Ms Holgate up to a maximum of $34,500 for a period of up to six months," a tribunal spokeswoman told the newspaper.
"The tribunal subsequently agreed to the Australia Post board's extending the period of accommodation support, provided that the original approved cap of $34,500 was not exceeded."
The revelation comes after the embattled Australia Post boss was ordered to step down while an investigation was conducted into almost $20,000 being spent on rewarding four senior executives with Cartier watches.
The cash splash was revealed during a Senate estimates hearing on Thursday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was "appalled" by the purchase of the watches.
"It is disgraceful and not on," Mr Morrison said.
Ms Holgate told the Senate committee that four staff who had worked on its Bank@Post deal had been recognised for their hard work.
The federal government has said the independent investigation into Australia Post would examine the management culture, particularly "in relation to gifts, rewards and expenses, including personal expenses of executives".
Ms Holgate told the Financial Review's Boss magazine in October 2018 that her Grand Hyatt stay was "like home" during her four days a week in Melbourne.
Originally published as New scandal for Aus Post boss