Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Why I don’t feel sorry for Australia Post

Mark Fletcher
May 14th, 2014 · 7 Comments

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.


Category: Australia Post

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lyndon // May 14, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    And they’re already subsidised to be selling stock like stationery at cheaper prices than we can buy them.


  • 2 andy // Jun 8, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    sun hearld has a story on aust post today makes interesting reading


  • 3 Mark Fletcher // Jun 8, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    Andy, this story has been placed I am sure to help prepare for the job losses. The thing is, a $90M a year saving is nothing compared to the projected losses. More bold moves are yet to come. Here is the link to the Fairfax report on Australia Post from today:


  • 4 Dave // Jun 9, 2014 at 7:46 AM

    Lyndon, as an LPO we buy our stationary, and non post items offered by Australia Post, much better elsewhere. If they’re buying better for their own stores they are stiffing their LPOs. From our perspective they’re just a bunch of ticket clippers.

    The LPO’s are doing the heavy lifting for their left parcel collection as well. We physically store and handle 8-900 parcels per week and and our compensation for this is around $1200 per year.

    Can you imagine how dumb their business model for parcel delivery is. In a day and age where most households are away at school or work all day they only offer a delivery service in between 08.00 and 16.00. And they have a policy of not leaving houses at unattended houses (which in most suburbs is most houses). They pay someone (the parcel contractor) not to deliver the parcels and they don’t pay the person (us) who hands the parcel to the customer. This is as efficient as a Maoist commune.

    We have offered to extend parcel collection across full newsagency hours, if we are adequately compensated. They don’t answer our letters, or emails for that matter.

    And POAAL are just a bunch of blah blahs


  • 5 Mark Fletcher // Jun 9, 2014 at 10:30 AM

    Dave you’re right to point to the difference between an LPO and a government owned retail business.

    I have no quarrel with LPOs. Indeed, given the contracted arrangements, I think they have it tough.


  • 6 Brett // Jul 16, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    Dave – if you’re doing 8-900 parcels a week and getting paid $1200 then the problem is you. That’s about 3c a parcel – you need to write to australia post. Or reject the parcels.


  • 7 KMC // Jul 17, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Brett – we have been hammering Australia Post for about 12 months now. They simply don’t respond. We occasionally go on by pass because we are full but generally we don’t reject the parcels because that would be taking it out on customers, and we are after all a customer service organisation. The real issue is that Australia Post , at least at working level, is not a commercial organisation. The people we deal with are still public service minions.


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