Today, the Federal Government released its discussion paper on modernising Australia Post, initiating a public consultation process, seeking comment and submissions prior to contemplating making any changes to the nation’s postal services.
Foreshadowing our Union’s submission, any changes to Australia’s robust postal service must enhance our community services, not water them down, and continue to provide quality, secure jobs for Australians – not only within our cities, but across the farthest reaches of our nation.
The former Morrison Government slashed postal delivery standards during the height of the pandemic, allowing for the introduction of the ADM – which impacted the service quality of not just letters, but parcels and premium products such as Express Post.
Our members will never forget being directed to purposely breach community service obligations and to withhold Express Post and parcels from delivery to our communities who were locked down, unable to leave their homes.
Most importantly, the ADM significantly impacted on the health and wellbeing of our members – both physically and mentally.
The Liberals’ attack on our essential services, without any consultation with workers or the communities you serve, proved to be an outright failure, and must never be repeated.
We believe there is ample opportunity for Australia Post to grow and prosper, whilst allowing for its service obligations to our communities to continue.
Australia Post has the largest delivery network in the country, an enviable retail footprint and is consistently rated as one of the nation’s most trusted brands.
That is only made possible through the day in, day out dedication of our hardworking members.
Our members are no strangers to change. Recognising the increasing shift in customer trends, our members across all occupational groups have adapted over many years. This has allowed Australia Post to position itself as a major player in the domestic parcels market. Post’s dominance in this space is unique and is in stark contrast to the failures of many overseas postal services.
Following months of consultation between Australia Post, rank and file members and CWU Officials from across every State Branch, our members at Hornsby Delivery Centre are about to commence a trial of a model to deliver both parcels and letters to more people each day and protects jobs, whilst meeting current community service obligations.
We wrote to members employed in Delivery yesterday, detailing how that trial will work and, importantly, that we have secured job security commitments that ensure that not a single job would be lost throughout not only the trial process, but beyond it – should it prove to be successful and rolled out further.
Ensuring our posties continue to deliver five days per week, despite letter decline, will allow Australia Post to continue to grow its parcel delivery capability.
Importantly, the outcome of this trial will inform the Government’s considerations as part of this overall public consultation process.
Australia Post remaining in public hands and continuing to dominate in parcels space will also keep competitors in check, ensuring a quality parcel delivery service remains affordable and accessible to all Australians, regardless of where they live.
Our members in post offices have also adapted to significant change over the years, having stepped up to acquire the skills and credentials necessary to provide more government and identity services, along with ensuring retail banking services are accessible to the many communities that the banks have walked away from.
But we know there’s room for more, particularly in regional communities and governments at all levels must back our members in.
Governments should be taking advantage of Post’s vast network, retail footprint and trust in the community to deliver services the public are fed-up with waiting hours in telephone queues to access.
We also want to see Australia Post secure a banking license, allowing the return of genuine local banking services to communities that are being neglected by the big banks. We believe it would be the perfect opportunity to stimulate genuine competition in the sector at a time when Australian families are crying out for a better deal.
We believe that offering the products and services our communities are demanding will ensure Australia Post’s future is a bright one, that protects the public’s fundamental access to essential services and continues to provide quality, secure and meaningful employment for tens of thousands of ordinary Australians across the nation.
These are all matters the CWU will be covering as part of our submission to the public consultation process and will be shared with members.
Members, their families and their friends are also encouraged to share their own views with the Government. Comments and submissions to this public consultation process can be sent via:
Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts
Attention: Director, Postal Policy—Communications Services and Consumer Division
GPO Box 2154
CANBERRA ACT 2601
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