More questions than answers
What is really behind this staggering political behaviour around four Cartier watches and possible gender-based harassmentof a woman CEO? The age, ABC and Financial Review provide considerable insight.
There are more questions than answers!! Labor and Liberal MPs jumped the gun to conclusions and fired from their hips, before obtaining facts about four $5,000 watches given to staff who produced a significant benefit to both voters and Australia Post. The cost to voters of that political reaction might dwarf the $20k spent on gold watches at $5,000 a go.
Should the appointment of a new Australia Post CEO be put on hold?
Should Ms Holgate, who as CEO of Australia Post, took a voluntary 20% pay cut during covid and earned Australia Post a $53 million profit in 2019-20, be reinstated? The alternative may be a very expensive law suit.
Ms Holgate is said to have received $1.6 million in pay in 2019-20 after that voluntary 20% pay cut, compared to the previous CEO who was paid $10 million in 2017.
Should the Prime Minister be required to table Ms Holgate’s written resignation in Parliament to be investigated for male coercion in making her sign it, if she did?
Both major political parties are involved
It was a Labor Senator who, in October 2020 first queried Ms. Holgate about the watches at a Senate estimates hearing. The Prime minister quickly joined in to announce that he was appalled by the waste of public money. He is right to be concerned about any waste of public money. He then announced an inquiry (more money) and added his famous statement that she should stand aside “or she can go”. Did the PM “do for Ms. Holgate, in this instance, what he would like done for himself in similar circumstances”?
Perhaps he was misled or misunderstood and thought this had happened during the Corona Crisis restraint period, but it had in fact happened in 2018. ABC claims there were 900 public servants many of whom earned bonuses of over $5,000 and that in 2018 — the year of the four $5,000 watches — federal ministers’ delegates approved $40.8 million worth of performance bonuses for 15,633 APS staff mostly to middle managers, an average of $2,500 each. Details of why these bonuses were not “a waste of money” should come from the PM.
Compare the cost benefits
One of many questions for Australian voters to consider between now and when they next cast their votes, is how the $5,000 watches as bonuses to each for four executives who negotiated the banking deal with Westpac, Commonwealth and nab to provide services to voters through 1600 post offices, compares with those bonuses and other government spending in terms of waste of voters’ money.
Writers to the papers referred to the community grants for sporting facilities, security lighting etc paid into predominantly government electorates with the effect and perhaps the purpose of gaining a direct financial advantage for government MPs in terms of their parliamentary salaries and their party holding government. One writer refers to a $50m cost of keeping a family on Christmas Island? Another writes about Robodebt and the aged care fiasco; one mentions the cost of flying Mr. Corman around to pick up a new job.
How does all of this government expenditure of voters’ money compare to the $20k for watches to provide banking services to 1600 communities @ $12.50 per community Post Office?
How much has the government spent on professional fees investigating the Australia Post watch expenditure? Let us see what it totals and know whether any investigators are also political donors.
If the government loses a multi-million dollar unfair dismissal suit by Ms. Holgate for no benefit to voters at all, will that have been good management of public expenditure or another waste of money?
If you care about how your money is spent and perhaps a bit more equality in the payment of bonuses, please join Voters Network and help us find out via our parliamentarians themselves.
Harassment of women again?
The Australian Financial Review reported that the executive who runs Australia’s Post’s banking business, which is so successful that she received one of the luxury Cartier watch for her efforts, plans to expand the operation into brokering loans for small businesses.
It said that in her first public comments since receiving the watch, Deanne Keetelaar said there were 1600 communities around the country without a bank branch where the post office is the only financial services retailer.
Was there a quiet conspiracy amongst some men against these two women, to prevent the expansion of Australia Post into financial services for the community, to stop female executives putting community interest first, to ensure the sale of Australia Post to a friendly buyer?
Should anyone be investigated for bullying Ms Holgate?
Given that Ms Holgate and one of the executives who promoted the banking deal are female, does this look like harassment of women – again? If so where to with that?
Government for the people
This situation is bad enough on its own but when it comes on top of the deeply worrying events and exposures of recent months in Federal Parliament it is intolerable.
Is this all about politicians selling off more voters’ assets?
“Government for the people” requires more “government by the people”. That is, more engagement with those who we elect and pay to represent us in parliament. Until more voters realise that, we will continue to endure sub-standard government. It only takes a tiny bit of time, effort and money when we all work together in Voters Network, recognising that we benefit by tolerantly listening to other viewpoints and our voices are most effective when we discard our party-political preferences and deal with all MPs.
Voters need to keep a closer eye on what is happening in our Parliament, for government affects most of our lives, from pay rates to punishment for crime; from health to home affordability and general happiness. Please join the Voters Network and help improve the performance of our elected MPs whose jobs are very challenging, who make mistakes like the rest of us, who are subject to constant and often vitriolic yet unjustified criticism and who we have found over the past 35 years can be extremely helpful, dutiful and competent when they have the backing and support of the voters they are elected to represent.
Many government failures are simply the result of our failure to get alongside our MPs and guide them, instead leaving them to the predatory self-interest groups that dominate and bully them when we voters show disinterest.