12 February 2024

Customers invited to have their say on plans to deliver a modernised Australia Post

| Andrew McLaughlin
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postal worker sorting mail

The proposed efficiency and productivity changes will be implemented at Australia Post in 2025. Photo: James Coleman.

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.

READ ALSO ACCC orders Australia Post and StarTrack to compensate businesses for lost parcels

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be updated to reflect the modern Australian Statistical Standards Geography Standard Remoteness Areas, rather than the outdated 1991 Census currently used.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.

Postie trikes

Stakeholders have until 29 February to have their say on the proposed changes. Photo: James Coleman.

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.”

READ ALSO Public servants must change their approach to First Nations people, Productivity Commission says

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.

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Put up the price of stamps – people will then use the service less, then AusPost can complain that people aren’t using the service so they don’t need to deliver as often. Oh right – that’s already been done.

Lauryn Roberts, bread used to be 18d in 1960s too. It’s can cost $7 now. What’s special about postage stamps.

I wouldn’t care if they delivered letters only weekly. Very little of interest comes to me via mail, and hasn’t for years. Pretty much its only bills, mainly from government, and I can’t see why they could not be delivered by email. My main interest with AP is to ensure it does its parcel delivery role efficiently and quickly, and for a reasonable price.

Matthew Byrne (Barney)6:26 pm 12 Feb 24

Australia Post was set up as a community service just like hospitals and schools Not about making big profits. Post still make millions in profits and has plenty to give away to charities.

Capital Retro11:02 am 13 Feb 24

I think the postal service was part of the PMG (Postmaster General’s Department) which also managed telephones and telegrams. I think they made heaps of money (no competition).

When technology progressed the PMG was renamed the Postal and Telecommunications Department and two autonomous entities were later created – Australia Post and Telecom. Privatization by the Fraser government (I recall) followed.

Yes. It was about government selling off the assets to private interests to get some cash. Very short-term thinking as has been common for some years now.

We lost the ongoing income which was a significant boost to revenue each year, as well as sacrificing national control of our communications systems. Strategically unwise at a national level.

That’s neoliberalism which has a very short term focus when it comes to public benefit, whilst ensuring that the individuals who facilitate it have longer term gains.

Matthew Byrne (Barney)6:17 pm 12 Feb 24

The new changes will not improve the service. For years now they have been saying that the mail is dropping .So why is it taking so long to go 30km up the road to my letterbox? Every time they make changes nothing get better they don’t even do next day delivery on express post but still charge full price. The postman’s round gets bigger and bigger so on some days the mail does not get delivered at all in your area. I have worked for Post for more than 20 years and staff are leaving and post are not hiring.

The problem with 3 days a week is the out of sync every other week. Why not every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Uping the price of mail ends up causing the UK,US and European model. Pushes people, and more importantly businesses, away from mail. The time will come when failure to own an internet connected device will cause failures to pay bills etc. Want your tax returns done by email, or god forbid, a government provided electronic method as is the case now.

Email is not a secure or guaranteed service, never was. When you press send you cannot be sure the recipient will ever get it.

GrumpyGrandpa3:13 pm 12 Feb 24

To be fair, Craig, when you post a letter, you aren’t guaranteed the recipient will receive it either.

Capital Retro7:58 am 13 Feb 24

An undelivered letter is called a missive.

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