Are you happy to have your mail delivered every second day instead of every day? What about paying 30 cents more for a stamp? And how do you feel about longer mail delivery timeframes? Well, you can now have your say.
After last December’s Federal Government announcement that reforms would be made to Australia Post to boost productivity and better reflect the ratio of letters to parcels it now delivers, the government is now calling for individuals and businesses to have their say on the proposed changes.
An 8 February statement says the Australia Post business has changed, and it needs to change with it. It says nearly one in five retail sales is now completed online, parcel volumes are up 70 per cent since before the COVID-19 pandemic, and letter volumes have reduced by two-thirds since their peak in 2008.
Therefore, the following changes to Australia Post have been proposed:
- The frequency of regular letter delivery will be reduced from every business day to every second business day, to support the daily delivery of parcels
- Delivery timeframes for regular letters will be relaxed by one day
- Australia Post will change the way it manages priority mail so it can deliver services at a more commercial rate and work with customers to set appropriate terms and conditions
- The geographical classification of Australia Post retail outlets will be updated to reflect the modern Australian Statistical Standards Geography Standard Remoteness Areas, rather than the outdated 1991 Census currently used.
The statement stresses that there are no plans to change the services provided at post office retail outlets, and that the prescribed minimum number of post offices that Australia Post operates – including in regional areas – will remain.
It says the proposed changes were informed by a public discussion paper and consultation process that was launched last March and sought ways to modernise and improve Australia Post’s service, convenience and efficiency.
A subsequent trial conducted with the support of its workforce and the Communications Workers Union found that delivery points were expanded by more than 10 per cent per round and that postal workers were able to carry up to 20 per cent more parcels.
Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland said Australia Post was owned by all Australians, and ensuring postal services met their needs now and into the future was critical.
“These important reforms will help improve the sustainability of Australia Post and allow it to respond to changing consumer demands,” she said.
“Our modernisation plan will allow Australia Post to invest in its booming parcels business and support secure postal worker jobs.
“Our government has been highly collaborative with consumers, small businesses, workers and licensees at every step along this modernisation process. I encourage Australians to have their say to ensure these draft regulations deliver the services Australians need.”
Minister for Finance Senator Katy Gallagher added: “The government is committed to Australia Post’s financial sustainability while ensuring that postal services continue to meet consumer and business needs.
“Public feedback on the draft amendment regulations is essential to achieving these objectives and ensures that Australia Post continues to serve all Australians, now and into the future.”
Stakeholders are invited to have their say on the proposed changes here by 29 February, while the changes are expected to be fully implemented in 2025.