Nationals Queensland Senator Ron Boswell and Victorian Senator Bridget McKenzie yesterday raised concerns about the future of Licensed Post Offices at The Nationals party room meeting in Canberra.
Senator Boswell also raised the issue with Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the joint party room meeting and will meet with the Minister on Thursday.
Senator Boswell said Licensed Post Offices could be forced out of business due to out-dated pricing regimes.
Senator Boswell said Australia Post payments to LPOs were not keeping pace with the Consumer Price Index or covering the cost of parcel delivery and post office box maintenance.
‘‘The increase in online shopping means thousands more parcels are being handled by post offices than in previous years,’’ Senator Boswell said.
‘‘The number of parcels in international mail has more than doubled between 2006-2007 and 2010-11 to more than 48 million.’’
Senator McKenzie said LPOs were barely surviving.
‘‘Licensees pay a significant fee to buy into the franchise, but are not making enough money to break even and in some cases are taking on a second job to make ends meet,’’ she said.
‘‘At the same time, Australia Post announced an after tax profit of $312 million last financial year. This hardly seems fair.’’
Concerns have also been raised about Australia Post’s profit margins on items sold to LPOs.
Senator McKenzie said The Nationals were committed to ensuring Australia could deliver a world class postal system and recognised the important role LPOs have in Australia’s postal network and particularly in servicing regional towns.
‘‘Licensed Post Offices are vital for regional economies and communities,’’ she said.
‘‘Australia Post needs to ensure that payments keep pace with rising parcel volumes and changing technology.’’
Media contact: Kathleen Tonini mob: 0400530027