This week Australia Post announced its commitment to keeping regional and rural post offices open in a move to head off opposition to the CSO changes that Post has been pushing for i.e. end the everyday delivery of standard mail and introduce a two-speed pricing system.
The Australia Post announcement was wrapped up in a package of incentives that will apply to all licensed post offices (LPOs). Rural and regional operators will benefit the most says Australia Post. The package includes increased payments to LPOs (something licensees complained bitterly about during the Senate Inquiry into Australia Post late last year) and access to AP’s electronic point of sale system (EPOS).
Yes Post Offices are still central to commerce, public life and social affairs in regional and rural Australia. But the timing of the announcement is telling, designed to soften the way for potential changes to the CSOs that are being considered by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. According to media reports Mr Turnbull is expected to put a package to federal cabinet within months that includes delivery and standard rate changes.
We have asked Australia Post for its business plan. They have refused to provide it. We have sought details on the impact of changes to CSOs. No details have been provided. We will keep pushing. We will keep you informed. You can contact us directly at CWUnion