I am surprised at the easy run journalists and news outlets have given Australia Post over the last few days, reporting on the decline in the use of letter mail, that AP will open Saturdays and that the organisation faces challenges that if not met could require financial support from government.
The decline in mail is not unexpected – I’ve been reading about it for more than ten years. Australia Post leadership should have been factoring this into their plans for at least that long as should their shareholders.
As for the comment that they could be in a position of needing government support, Australia Post has, as I understand it, provided the government of the day with excellent dividends. Why did the organisation and or politicians plan for structural change and retain some of these funds to help it navigate changing circumstances.
Australia Post government owned retail outlets in shopping centres have had a dream run for decades, trading under the protection of government ownership while they targeted family run newsagencies. I know from personal experience they were not forced to open in low trading periods when penalty rates applied. My newsagency was price checked by government employees as they sought to take sales from us.
Special treatment by the landlord is one of several benefits they had as an ‘essential service retailer’.
No, I don’t feel sorry for Australia Post.