AusPost under fire for PR campaign

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Australia Post is under fire for hiring a $3000-a-day PR company for reputation management as it looked to justify its move to alternate days postal delivery, a decision that caused uproar among the print and mail community.

Christine Holgate, CEO of Australia Post.
Scrutiny: Christine Holgate, CEO of Australia Post.

According to Nine Media, the mail monopoly spent $119,000 with Domestique, the Ross Thornton agency in June and July. This followed the decision by Labor and the Greens to oppose the Morrison government’s decision to allow reduced delivery schedules, along with the removal of the priority mail product, and extending delivery time for intrastate letters to five days.

Nine also revealed that the $2.5m-a-year CEO Christine Holgate has a chauffeur-driven car and spent $29,000 on her work credit card and around $300,000 on her office corporate credit card over the past 12 months.

Holgate and other senior execs are due to face a grilling in the Senate next week, following what Nine reports as a “string of scandals” over personal bonus payments, and “massive delays to services”.

Holgate is Australia’s most highly paid civil servant, earning more than twice as much as the head of the ABC, and earning twice as much as the head of the US Postal Service.

AusPost has attracted a barrage of criticism from the printers and mail houses over recent years, as it has swung its focus to parcels aiming to cash in on the online shopping boom, loading letters and other mail with sky-high costs and drastically reduced service levels.

According to Nine, the last time Holgate was before politicians in August, she was lashed for attempting to avoid scrutiny over service delivery, and for failing to understand accountability of the publicly funded operation.

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