Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Modernising the Post Office in Regional QLD

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Modernising the Post Office in Regional QLD

Article excerpt

THE rise of the internet and digital economy is changing Australia Post.

We recently announced an overall loss for the second half of the 2014 financial year, marking the first time our business has made a half-year loss since being corporatised in 1989.

And while I am confident we will sustain Australia Post's role in the local community, we have now reached a turning point where we must address the growing financial losses in our heavily regulated letters services as the result of dramatically declining mail volumes. Since the peak six years ago, the number of letters delivered per letterbox has fallen by a third, as Australians have embraced digital communications. So if six years ago you received, on average, three letters a day, today you will receive two. This decline in volume has resulted in approximately $1billion of accumulated losses in our Letters business.

So the challenge for us is to manage the decline of letters while also capitalising on our opportunities to serve our customers in new ways.

At the forefront of our mind is maintaining our network of over 4400 post offices that place us at the heart of Australian communities. This includes more than 520 post offices in regional and rural areas of Queensland, where sometimes we are the only service provider in town.

We know that our customers trust us to be there when they need us and we are often the most enduring presence in towns and regional centres across Australia.

Strengthening and modernising the post office network will help us continue to be a trusted and useful service provider for Australians wherever they reside. And we've already started this process. I recently announced that we would be expanding our footprint of superstores, a modern day GPO, to have 50 in regional and rural centres by the end of the decade including Cairns and Toowoomba. These stores will feature a range of new technologies and services designed to cater for our customers' changing needs.

From this November, we will also open our corporate post offices on Saturdays and extend the existing network of Express Post letter and parcel deliveries to six-days-a-week. …

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