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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Storm in a stubby holder

Australia Post’s top executive has admitted contacting the City of Melbourne Council and Senator Pauline Hanson after more than 100 One Nation-branded stubby holders were not delivered to public housing tower residents in COVID-19 lockdown in July.

Senator Hanson had dispatched 114 stubby holders along with a note to residents that read, “No hard feelings” – the gesture came just days after she had publicly labelled the Melbourne tower residents as “alcoholics” and “addicts”.

Council officials overseeing the lockdown reportedly intercepted the delivery from Hanson and stopped its transit, citing concerns that the stubby holders could further inflame tensions in the public housing tower.

In a leaked email, Australia Post warned the council that it would report the delivery failure to police unless Hanson’s shipment reached its destination.

Australia Post has denied that this intervention amounted to a threat.

“Australia Post confirms that Ms Holgate did not speak to Senator Hanson or One Nation on this matter, nor did she threaten Melbourne City Council,” it said in a statement today.

It did, however, admit to contacting the City of Melbourne council and Senator Hanson about the issue.

“Upon subsequently being made aware the items did not reach their ultimate destination, we raised it with the City of Melbourne and engaged with the sender in good faith to resolve the matter,” it said.

“Commonwealth laws prohibit any conduct which interferes with the mail, and make it clear that Australia Post is obliged to complete the delivery of Australians’ mail to the designated address.”

Senator Hanson summed up the controversy today by saying,”Talk about a storm in a stubby cooler.”

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt was also asked about the incident today.

“I would suspect that most people would not be influenced in any direction either way by the arrival of a stubby holder,” the Minister said of Sen Hanson’s intentions in sending the stubby holders.

“Sorry, that is one of the more unusual things I have heard during the course of what has been a very serious pandemic, but in terms of those, I would say that people wouldn’t be particularly influenced in either direction by a stubby holder.”

“I’m not sure whether the people in the towers were using stubby holders.”

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