Australian politics live: Christian Porter threatens legal action over 'defamatory claims'

By Amy Remeikis

16:37

Victoria records 11th consecutive double zeroes day

Updated

16:32

Updated

16:29

Updated

16:26

Updated

16:21

Australia Post went before Senate estimates on Monday evening, with its chair, Lucio Di Bartolomeo, detailing the fallout from the chief executive Christine Holgate resigning over the controversial decision to award executives Cartier watches as a bonus.

He said:

I understand well that our ownership structure places a unique responsibility to manage the resources of this business prudently, and ultimately in the best interests of all Australians – as underlying shareholders, as well as customers. If I had been chair in 2018 and had been made aware of the proposal to purchase Cartier watches I would have vetoed that purchase.

Di Bartolomeo provided more detail of the government’s involvement on 22 October when the Cartier gift was made public – including that the communications minister, Paul Fletcher, told him he thought Holgate should stand aside pending an investigation.

The board met to discuss that position and then, after a series of conversations, he and Holgate agreed she would stand aside.

Di Bartolomeo said the decision wasn’t a judgment on what had occurred, or whether something had “gone wrong”, but rather had been made to facilitate the investigation. The legal basis was that she elected to stand aside, and he wrote to her setting this out.

The rest was as Holgate described when she ultimately decided to quit. She will be paid her accrued annual leave but won’t be paid to the end of her fixed-term contract.

Australia Post is setting the arrangements out in a letter but will not ask her to sign a deed of release, so it won’t seek an undertaking that she won’t institute legal proceedings.

Updated

16:16

Updated

16:12

Updated

15:59

Updated

15:44

Updated

15:35

Updated

15:29

Good morning

Updated