Posties blast ‘disgusting’ spending from Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate

Australian posties are furious about lavish spending by their boss, claiming she had “never delivered a letter” with one thing making them really mad. 

Posties, who count among Australia’s most trusted workers, are furious at the lavish spending spree by AusPost Group CEO Christine Holgate.

The postal delivery workers would be “disgusted and p*ssed off” at the behaviour, their union leader told

But if Holgate’s splashing out nearly $20,000 on Cartier watches for executives, $700,000 on pot plants and a $3000-a-day image consultant while cutting back on delivery services wasn’t enough, one thing in particular is fuelling anger.

That is Ms Holgate’s chauffeur-driven blue Range Rover with personalised “POSTY1” number plates, implying she is first among postal delivery workers.

British-born Ms Holgate, 59, received the car as a gift from her husband, Michael Harding, who holds multiple directorships and chairs in the energy industry.

Holgate has temporarily stood down from her position after a Senate estimates hearing that revealed executive spending at the organisation.

During the hearing Holgate, who Nine Newspapers claims has a personal worth of up to $800m, wore a $48,000 Bulgari watch.

This was especially galling after Ms Holgate’s botched plan to introduce alternate day mail deliveries (ADM) and place responsibility at the feet of the delivering posties.

The National Secretary of the Communications Union, CEPU, which counts 18,000 Australia Post workers among his members, told “posties are disgusted” with the ADM fiasco.

RELATED: Australia Post boss Christine Holgate flashes $48,000 watch

Christine Holgate's Range Rover with ‘POSTY1’ plates is galling to the real posties at AusPost where fury is on the rise.


Posties are working harder and take pride in getting all deliveries done, despite working through breaks, their union says. Picture: Zak Simmonds.

“Australia Post is one of the most trusted brands in the country and posties are a very proud bunch,” CEPU’s national secretary Greg Rayner told

He said implying she was number one postie, “when she had probably never delivered a letter in her life” and earned $2.5m a year, was aggravating for hardworking posties on $50,000.

“Posties … pride themselves on getting their work done.

“I think we have the best postal service in the world, but these managements decisions are taking us away from this.

“Posties pride themselves on getting the mail delivered.

“They haven’t been able to do that and when they have to return with undelivered parcels or letters even after working through their lunch hours and breaks, they feel like cr*p.

“And this is happening while this culture … of excessive spending has been creeping in for some years.”

Mr Rayner, who believes Ms Holgate’s position is untenable, said posties had been very upset by the botched ADM marketing campaign of six million cards saying “A message from your postie”, which had to be pulped.

When he informed AusPost executive general manager Sue Davies that posties feared they’d be abused and blamed by customers for the reduced service, she said she hadn’t been aware of the cards.
RELATED: AusPost boss Christine Holgate paid staggering amount on gardening leave

Christine Holgate, chief executive of Australia Post, at a Pride of Australia National Awards Ceremony. Picture: Dylan Robinson.


Postie David Burns during the COVID-19 lockdown when volumes skyrocketed even as AusPost executives were planning to cut back on workers.

He said AusPost’s plan under Ms Holgate had been to get rid of one in four posties, and free up the remaining ones to deliver more parcels in the burgeoning online shopping environment.

Mr Rayner said the decision to reduce the number of posties “came at the same time as COVID when parcel volume was up 200 per cent, with 100 per cent more deliveries by the same number of posties”.

He said the result was a significant delivery delay in the AusPost network which had “appalled” postal workers and meant delays of up to four weeks.

“Australia Post is the public service to deliver parcels and post,” Mr Rayner said, “Like they say ‘you’ve got one job’.”

AusPost delivery workers earn around $50,000 a year plus penalty rates and overtime, have an average age of 53 years, but include workers aged in their 80s.

Mr Rayner said during COVID-19 lockdown – when parcel delivery needs “were at crazy levels” – AusPost called on non mail delivery workers to volunteer.

He was unsure if Ms Holgate had been among the non-core employees who emerged from their homes to do voluntary deliveries of say, 10 or 20 packages.

Christine Holgate’s ‘POSTY1’ plate Range Rover was a gift from her husband Mike Harding, 70, (right) a director of several energy companies.

This compared with a rate of 50 to 100 daily deliveries by each postie, or parcel deliverers dropping off 100 to 200 packages a day “working through meal breaks, working their butts off”.

He said that to achieve this, posties had admitted travelling faster than the 10kph speed limit on footpaths.

“They have to travel faster just to get their work done and 84 per cent can’t complete their duties within their rosters,” Mr Rayner said.

“People are taking short cuts and feeling the pressure.”
He said executive spending could instead be used in “better and more acceptable ways” such as for delivery centres.

Mr Rayner questioned Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s declaration he was appalled at Ms Holgate’s spending, saying the PM should reserve his disgust for every second day delivery plan.

He also said the AusPost board was filled with Liberal Party figures such as former senator Michael Ronaldson and party ex-director Tony Nutt, and the board had approved the $12,000 spent on Cartier watches.

“She hasn’t made these decision in isolation,” Mr Rayner added.



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