Australia Post chief executive Christine Holgate was ordered to stand down after spending $12,000 on four Cartier watches for senior executives while an independent investigation into the matter takes place.
Mr. Rainer argued that the federal government had ignored broader problems at The Australian Post, including the growing pressure on postal workers, and suggested that the entire board of directors be set aside during the investigation.
The Estimates hearing was advised the watches went to a group who dealt with a multi-million-dollar bargain that implied clients of Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and NAB could do their banking at mailing stations.
The revelation saw Twitter erupt in response, with social media users questioning why the high-paid executives received such valuable gifts.
An Australia Post worker sorts through parcels on a conveyor belt.
"They were a Cartier watch of about a value of $3000 each".
Australia Post social media staffer Liam talks up the boulders in a cheeky Twitter reply.
"Australia Post will continue to participate transparently in Budget Estimates 2020-21 processes, including to review the proof Hansard transcript of evidence when it is made available and to respond to questions on notice, and will - as reflected in my public statement yesterday - also fully cooperate with the recently announced investigation to be conducted by shareholder departments".
Australia Post laborers in the business office got nearly $10 million in rewards through what is known as the "business motivation plot". "They were organised through my office on behalf of the chair and I".
"What can get from Bunnings $86?"
"I was appalled and it is disgraceful and not on", he said.
The cash splash was exposed by Labor senator Kimberley Kitching but defended by Ms Holgate, who was wearing a Bulgari watch believed to be worth about $48,000 as she argued the government-owned business was a "commercial organisation".
AusPost CEO Christine Holgate insists no taxpayer money was used for the gifts and backed the decision to hand out the reward. Australia Post is government-owned, with the Australian Government being the only shareholder, but is both self-funded and run and receives no tax-funding, according to the federal government.
"It was a recommendation from our chair that these people should be rewarded".
"That report will come back to me and my members of my Cabinet and if Mr Speaker there are issues to be addressed with board members, then they will be addressed then".
Australia Post chairman Lucio Di Bartolomeo said the board and management team would "fully co-operate" with the investigation.
"I have asked the chair to provide the full support of the company for this investigation, and I have also asked the chair to inform the chief executive and she will be asked to stand aside during the course of this investigation".