SNAIL mail is set to become slower after the federal government announced reforms which will see changes to the way Australia Post does deliveries.
The reforms, announced in a joint statement by federal communications minister Michelle Rowland and federal public service minister Katy Gallagher, will see letters delivered every second business day for 98 per cent of locations, while parcels will still be delivered daily.
The decision, which the ministers said was informed by public consultation and feedback from a discussion paper, will also see the addition of an extra day for Australia Post to deliver letters across Australia.
The joint statement also stated that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was assessing a draft notification by Australia Post to “increase the basic postage rate from $1.20 to $1.50 by 2024.”
Concession card holders will be spared a price increase, according to the statement, with their stamp prices to stay at 60 cents, while Christmas stamps will also stay unchanged at 65 cents.
The reforms have been welcomed by Communication Workers Union (CWU) national secretary Greg Rayner, who said the new delivery system will be rolled out nationally where it is appropriate to do so.
“CWU delivery members have been significantly involved in developing this new model, which allows posties to meet their changing day-to-day workloads without feeling like they’re constantly falling behind,” he said.
“This outcome represents a completely different approach to the previous government’s attempt to ‘reform’ Australia Post, by using the cover of the pandemic to cut jobs and services.”
Mr Rayner said trails around the new model led to a 20 per cent increase in daily parcel volumes being delivered, and also helped eliminate delivery backlogs.
The ministerial joint statement said letter volumes have reduced by two-thirds since their peak in 2008, while parcel volumes have boomed, leading to the trail of a new model around the country which saw daily letter deliveries decreased.
The trials found that by decreasing the frequency of letter delivery, there was an increase in delivery points by 10 per cent, while concurrently posties were also able to carry up to 20 per cent more parcels.
Australia Post chief executive officer and managing director Paul Graham called the reforms a significant day in Australia Post’s history.
“Given the significant decline in our letters business, we’ve worked closely with our team members and the CWU to trial new ways to deliver that are better for our posties,” he said.