Canberra approves postal reform

The Australian Government has approved Australia Post’s request for regulatory reform of its letters service, which will help keep post offices open and keep postmen delivering mail five days a week, ensuring that Australians everywhere can continue to access a letters service.

Post office at Sydney Airport  /  company courtesy
Post office at Sydney Airport / company courtesy

The decision allows Australia Post to introduce a new "regular" letter service delivered two days slower than the current timetable. Australia Post will seek approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to raise the basic stamp price from A$0.70 to A$1 to better reflect the total cost of sending a letter. The basic stamp price would apply to the new Regular service. People wanting to send mail to the existing schedule will pay more for a "priority" service.

Australia Post last month reported a drop of 56% in profit after tax to A$98m for the first half of its 2015 financial year ended December 31, 2014, which it claimed was driven by falling letter volumes, which was offsetting profits from its rapidly expanding e-commerce related parcel business.

Ahmed Fahour, managing director and group CEO for Australia Post, said, “Australia currently has the lowest basic stamp price in the developed world. Unfortunately we must raise that price to ensure we can maintain the service, including five-day-a-week delivery services and over 4,000 post offices."

Nol van Fenema

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