Christine Holgate has claimed there is no legal reason for her to be stood down from her role as Australia Post CEO after a week of scandalous revelations.
Calls for Ms Holgate to resign have mounted after she was stood down this week on her full $1.3million salary pending an investigation into the alleged misuse of corporate credit cards.
But Ms Holgate denies ever being asked to step down by Australia Post, and her lawyer has insisted there is no legal reason for her to do so.
Christine Holgate has claimed there is no legal reason for her to be stood down from her role as Australia Post CEO
‘Ms Holgate has not had any proper notification that she has been stood down from her role, nor has she been informed as to why she should be stood down,’ the statement from Bryan Belling, partner at employment law firm Kingston Reid says, as reported by Sydney Morning Herald.
‘Legally, in my opinion there are no grounds for Ms Holgate to be stood down, and “optics” not a legally-valid defence.’
Ms Holgate admitted spending $12,000 on four Cartier watches as a reward for four executives, but it was later revealed the true figure was closer to $20,000.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison lashed out at Ms Holgate in parliament last Thursday, calling the gifts disgraceful and appalling.
‘She’s been instructed to stand aside and if she doesn’t do that, she can go,’ Mr Morrison said.
Mr Belling’s statement referenced Mr Morrison’s comments reading it was ‘now exactly seven days since Ms Holgate was the subject of a humiliating answer during Question Time’.
Christine Holgate appears before a Senate inquiry into changes at Australia Post at Parliament House in July
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister declined to comment, while an Australia Post spokesperson said they were providing support to Ms Holgate.
‘Australia Post has been communicating frequently with Ms Holgate regarding the current situation and ensuring appropriate support has been provided,’ the spokesperson said.
‘The chair stands by his previously made statement on Thursday 22 October that Ms Holgate will stand aside and this was agreed to by both parties in a telephone conversation.’
More to come.
Source: Daily Mail AU
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