Australia Post chief executive Christine Holgate made sure she looked the part for her career defining appearance at Senate estimates on Thursday, (which might yet turn out to be career ending, given it was so disastrous that the government quickly suspended her).
How unfortunate though, given the revelations that Holgate rewarded four senior executives with four Cartier watches worth $3000 each, that Holgate chose to accessorise her Senate hot seat session with a luxury watch. A very expensive luxury watch.
To be precise: a gold Serpenti Tubogas watch from luxury Italian jeweller Bulgari.
Or as the jeweller prefers to describe it: the watch "coils the sinuosity of the snake with the contemporary soul of tubogas" as it evokes both the "sensual curves of a woman and the fluid shape of the serpent" , with a "flexible and tubular litheness" which "radiates glamour and a truly individual style".
The watch can retail for as much as $48,300 locally, or for as little as $20,000.
While Australia Post didn't foot the bill, tone deaf, we hear you cry, not for the first time.
After all, Postie HQ under fresh plant lover Holgate splashed out more than $700,000 on office plants. Then again, that’s a splash in the pond compared to the $1.15 million in termination payments AusPost handed out this year to just three executives.
But the big spending doesn’t stop at Australia Post’s door.
Last year the $2.86 million-a-year chief executive (including bonuses) was spotted on the streets of Sydney’s Mosman driving an electric blue Range Rover four-wheel drive, with the bespoke "POSTY1" number plate. When asked about the car bling, Holgate said it had been a gift from her husband.
Like we said, tone deaf.
Stephen Brook is CBD columnist for The Age. He is a former features editor and media editor at The Australian, where he wrote the Media Diary column and hosted the Behind The Media podcast. He spent six years in London working for The Guardian.
Samantha is the The Age's CBD columnist. She recently covered Victorian and NSW politics and business for News Corp, and previously worked for the Australian Financial Review.