POAAL meets with Communications Minister

Posted: August 27, 2019 at 8:02 pm

Paul Fletcher

Hon Paul Fletcher MP, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts

Today POAAL’s Bob Chizzoniti met with Paul Fletcher, the Minister for Communications. The Minister is one of Australia Post’s shareholder ministers.

It was a constructive meeting, covering a range of important issues for Licensees and Mail Contractors.

Three key issues raised by POAAL were:

1. Future plans for the LPO network

2. Government business in LPOs

3. Postal and delivery expertise on the Australia Post Board

The postal network is being affected by falling letter volumes, continuing growth in parcel volumes (driven by e-commerce), and a mature over-the-counter transaction business as customers do their banking and pay bills online.

Network planning is needed to secure a sustainable future for the LPO network. There needs to be the right number of post offices in the right locations. POAAL recognises the need for serious network planning and has urged Australia Post in strong terms to start making serious plans for the future of the post office network. As populations shift, so the complexion of the post office network must also change.

POAAL wants to see post offices become the public face of government. Already post offices provide some government services (such as passport services, Working With Children checks, ID checks for property transfers, and payment of council rates). Post offices are ideally situated to offer government services – especially in areas outside major population centres.

Additional business from government transactions will help maintain profitability of LPOs, leveraging the post office network’s unmatched nationwide coverage, high community trust, and technology and communications infrastructure.

The Australia Post Board sorely lacks postal and delivery expertise. The Board’s role is to decide Australia Post’s objectives, strategies and policies.

Some of the other topics discussed included changes to the LPO Agreement, vulnerable workers protections, impact of high retail rents, rising overhead costs, and the future of the letters service.

POAAL looks forward to further discussions with the Minister and his team about how to improve Australia Post and its LPO and Contractor networks.

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