Gotti blows Holgate saga sky high

The Christine Holgate saga rolls on today as the former Australia Post CEO demands an apology from PM Scott Morrison and he refuses to give it. This is all drama that is thoroughly beside the point. What is really at stake here is the corrupt Morrison Government policy process blown sky-high today by, of all people, Robert Gottleibsen who nicely stitches together the pieces:

  • Christine Holgate (and her predecessor) had a strategy to rebuild Australia Post as a parcel delivery specialist and brand extension service provider to protect jobs as she sustained the business at profitable levels into the future.
  • However, The Morrison Government did not share this vision. So, it stacked the board (with 7 out of 8 positions) and launched Bonton Consulting Group to review the business.
  • Unsurprisingly, BCG came down with a report that agreed wholeheartedly with the Government, that the business should be gutted. As Holgate recounted:

“We believed this strategy would protect community services, maintain jobs and build a new legacy for Australia Post to serve all Australians for decades to come, whilst remaining viable.

“BCG essentially argued it was too optimistic and risky, even though the business was ahead of its targets for the year when the review commenced and the organisation had only lost money once in its history.

“BCG put forward four reform paths for consideration, which focused on cutting costs and driving efficiencies. Initially, these reform paths started from driving efficiencies in the corporate centre, to significantly reducing letter services nationally, increasing prices, closing post offices, divesting of the parcels business and restricting financial and other services.”

I’m shocked, Shocked!  A consultancy advising slash and burn. The new strategy would have cut thousands of jobs and gutted service levels.

Gotti goes on:

  • Then COVID hit and the Holgate strategy played out beautifully with Australia Post parcel services booming.
  • The Morrison Government was ropeable and “carefully planned” the Holgate exit using leaks and muzzles.

And there you have it. Morrison Government policy unprocess revealed again: jobs for the boys; bully the sheilas out of the way, then cover-up for political purposes. Australian national interest last, as usual.

Of course, PM Morrison knew nothing!

David Llewellyn-Smith
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  1. Scott Morrison seems to be quite similar to his guru

    “However, Janice Legata, a former Hillsong insider who served with the Bogards when they were at Hillsong New York, expressed skepticism concerning the Houstons’ statement.

    “I don’t understand how Brian Houston keeps getting to have it both ways,” Legata wrote in an email. She noted that the Houstons called people “gossipers and nay-sayers for speaking up about the abuses in his organization,” but when forced to admit those abuses, has failed to take responsibility.

    “Traveling the world as a leadership guy, a leader of leaders, but claiming to have no idea of the bad things happening under the leaders he produces and then taking no responsibility, no accountability for the consistent themes of abuse that keep emerging—Brian Houston is either an extremely ineffective leader or a scarily effective one.””

  2. I thought that name (Boston Consulting Group) sounded familiar. I checked, and yes, the Government paid them to write one of the reports that coincidentally said exactly what the Government wanted them to say back when the Liberals were starting to destroy the NBN back in 2013/2014.

    Of course, those reports all came up with conclusions that went against everything experts were saying at the time (if you knew who to listen to – unsurprisingly those without vested interests…), and in time it turned out the experts were right and the Liberals and BCG (and the other groups they paid millions of dollars to) were completely wrong.

    • Consultants being consultants. They take guidance from the people paying the bill on the outcome they want to see then they adjust to data set and recommendation to meet those objectives. Why anyone listens to consulting firms is beyond me, their conflict of interest is the entire business model.

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        And yet so many large Australian companies use them, and all you get is warmed up neoliberal economics and a PowerPoint deck.

        Edit: Outsource, outsource, outsource.

      • Yep, when consultants became a thing it was all “independent consultants will drive effciences blah blah … ” but the opposite is now the case in most cases it seems.

      • Funnily enough, the previous Post CEO who was grilled for being the highest paid public servant at the time has had two stints at BCG himself. Coincidence?

        • BINGO! Came here to make this exact point. Ahmed Fahour is an economic hit man. He will have fingerprints on that report even if it was authored by others.

  3. happy valleyMEMBER

    “Of course, PM Morrison knew nothing!”

    At least Sergeant Schultz in Hogan’s Heroes was lovable when he said “I know nothing, I see nothing, I hear nothing”, but that certainly can’t be said of ScoMo.

  4. Steven Roberts

    I don’t mean to take the punch bowl away, but a sober look at the facts — which are not in dispute — is worthwhile.

    Australia Post is wholly owned by the Australian Government. Which means every single dollar that Ms Holgate spent on Cartier watches is a dollar that was not remitted to the Australian Government and a dollar that us poor chumps are going to need to work harder for longer to pay the taxes equal to the cost of the watches. If Mr Morrison had similarly spent taxpayer money on Cartier watches for his favourite advisers then Mr Morrison would no longer be Prime Minister. The facts are very, very clear here.

    Gotti and others can do their Sherlock Holmes about hidden agendas as long as they want to.

    • “…then Mr Morrison would no longer be Prime Minister.”
      LOL. Even Scummo now thinks you’re an idiot.

      • Steven Roberts

        For the record, the calculation is $20,000/26 million people. And the question is not how much, but whether you want to bust your balls at all so that Australia Post executives can display more attractive timeware. I barely check my letterbox once a fortnight these days.

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      So sports rots, community grants rorts, $400m untendered contracts to the likes of Paladin etc etc etc are all ok?

  5. turvilleMEMBER

    Have to agree with Steven Roberts. NEVER give perks or bonuses in the form of material objects, especially when they are of “top brand status” – very stupid idea. Should simply have awarded pre determined performance bonuses in cash (no not banknotes in brown envelopes). A CEO should have known better than flaunting flashy watches but unfortunately it was something that she flaunted herself !!!

  6. “divesting of the parcels business” this was the big prize, award it LNP mates or actual pollies when they retire & the donations would flow to the LNP. Their record of going against advice so often really makes it clear they are turning Australia into some sort of oligarchy banana republic.

  7. The fed broke it. Now, they own it.MEMBER

    She came unstuck when she fronted parliament wearing a $60K watch while defending gifts of $5K watches when the bulk of Australia Post employees earn less than $60K. The arrogance of the privileged is astounding and showed the K shape recovery in action.

    • If Clotty/BCG had their way it would have been privatised and no more fronting to parliament. So that problem would be solved for the next guy in there.
      Although the public would take it up the proverbial when you are trying to send something or get something delivered.

      Let me know when a big deal is made the next time the CEO of Woolies/Coles gets a comment on what clothes/watch etc they wear given the wage disparity.

  8. RobotSenseiMEMBER

    I’m glad Clotty has set the standard by which someone should lose their job.

    I expect to see at least six vacancies on the front bench tomorrow. And don’t get me started on that Laming turd.

  9. They don’t have the luxury of running a public monopoly. She is a civil servant so should be paid as such and act according to same code of ethics.

  10. Australia Post chair denied he had hounded her out of her job, saying she had offered to resign and the board had accepted her resignation as the best option in the circumstances. Clearly she wasn’t forced to resign

    Extract from the following link.