Embattled Australian post office manager Christine Holgate has signaled that a bitter legal war could threaten the prime minister’s “humiliating” decision to resign.
She has also never officially agreed to step aside amid an investigation into the Australia Post’s purchase of Cartier watches for executives.
“In my opinion there is no legal reason to resign Ms. Holgate and ‘optics’ is not a legal defense,” said Bryan Belling, a partner at Kingston Reid law firm, in a statement Sydney Morning Herald.
“Nor was she informed why she should resign.”
The statement suggests that the Prime Minister’s outburst at Question Time could prove costly, noting that “it has now been exactly seven days since Mrs Holgate was the subject of a humiliating response during Question Time”.
In response, the Prime Minister revealed that he had asked her to stand aside and “if she doesn’t want to, she can go”.
In a statement, Australia Post told news.com.au that the organization stood by its claim that it had agreed to step aside.
“Australia Post has spoken with Ms. Holgate frequently about the current situation and ensured that appropriate assistance was provided,” said an Australia Post spokesman.
“The Chairman stands by the statement he made earlier on Thursday October 22nd that Ms. Holgate will step aside, and this was agreed by both parties in a telephone conversation.”
Previously, Ms. Holgate’s millionaire mentor had jumped in her defense, saying she had been treated like “a dog” over the Cartier watch scandal and had “cried for days,” according to her millionaire mentor.
The head of the Blackmores vitamin empire, Marcus Blackmore, accused the Prime Minister of unnecessarily ruining her reputation and criticized the treatment of the esteemed business leader as “disgusting” and excessive.
“You wouldn’t do this to your dog … she might have gotten out of line, but don’t crucify her for God’s sake,” said Mr. Blackmore.
“I saw what it did to her, she cried for days, she was devastated. It was awful.”
Mr. Blackmore, who retains a $ 320 million stake in the company but has chosen not to receive a “cent” as a non-executive director, feared the “pile” could destroy them.
“In all honesty, I think the whole thing was bloody disgusting the way she was treated,” Blackmore said The Australian.
“There were four clocks, for God’s sake. Women like Cartier watches. She likes watches, she wanted to give people something memorable. ”
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Last week, Collingwood Football Club President Eddie McGuire, who worked with Ms. Holgate on the club’s board of directors, said he was angry and disgusted when he saw the Prime Minister’s extraordinary spray in Question Time and that he hoped she would “get out “And go back to the private sector.
“I just thought it was a bunch. I don’t know what the background is. But when someone sat watching that, I just thought, ‘Wow. This was a brawl in which someone was beaten up. When you do things it’s intuitive, ”he said.
“I think how stupid is Australia? That we still go into the politics of envy? I mean seriously. Why do we get superstars and business people to run public institutions and then try to get them to play like fools?
“If that were the case, Dick Pratt, Kerry Packer, Twiggy Forrest … anyone who was good at building their own life and career would have been fired.”
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Mr Blackmore added it was a bit rich for the media to attack Ms. Holgate over her own $ 48,000 watch, which was privately purchased.
“What woman in Australia would not want her husband to give her a Bulgari?” Mr Blackmore said.
“Business with Blackmores has been dire since Christine left. There has been a leadership gap for two and a half years. ”
“I think our elected officials and the media treated Christine unfairly. She is devastated. ”
But the Prime Minister has defended his decision to put Ms. Holgate aside.
“Well, we are the shareholder on behalf of the taxpayers,” he said.
“I don’t think there would be a board member of any government agency or a CEO of any government agency who didn’t receive my message yesterday. I think they got it with a missile. So I advise you to get it. ”
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