Industry joins PIAA to fight AusPost

Influential industry figures crowded PIAA HQ to discuss ways to combat AusPost’s ACCC application asking to increase its bulk mail prices by nearly 48 per cent in January. The first meeting of key industry figures took place last night at PIAA HQ in Sydney and Melbourne mailers and industry figures will have their say tomorrow. Bill Healey, PIAA ex-CEO and spokesperson, who chaired the meeting, says he was impressed with the number of people who attended the meeting to map out an appropriate response to the ACCC application.

Bill Healey, CEO of the PIAA

Bill Healey, ex-CEO of the PIAA

Speaking with Australian Printer, Healey, says the proposed price rises in bulk mail by the national mail carrier will ‘devastate’ businesses. Healey says, “There is no business in the world that can sustain a 48 per cent cost rise, it will devastate them, and you can’t pass on price rise of that magnitude, so it will result in drop in volume. “This is why it was important for the key industry decision makers to come together to consider the most appropriate way to respond to Australia Post’s ACCC application. “It was made clear from the chairman of ACCC that the application was not a done deal, and he is clearly asking the industry to respond so he could make an informed decision.” Healey says after the Melbourne meeting once everyone’s views are considered the association will prepare a paper for the ACCC to stop AusPost from increasing its prices. Healey says, “These meetings will particularly focus on Australia Post’s application to the ACCC but also it is about building a network of mailhouses to have a stronger voice. “We are inviting everyone to be involved, and we are talking to mailhouses, equipment suppliers, paper suppliers and ink suppliers. “Others such as the mail generators we are not talking with because they are represented by ADMA but we would like everyone to be involved. We are also talking to the catalogue association.” The meetings come as the ACCC chairman Rod Sims announced that Australia Post’s January price hike is ‘not a done deal’, despite the government giving the green light. The competition regulator is considering Post’s application to increase the cost of a stamp from 70c to $1 as it stares down the barrel of massive losses, with a decision due in December. However, the ACCC’s issues paper questions whether customers should be hit with a massive increase all at once or if a longer-term ‘price path’ approach is more appropriate.

JasonAllen-PPOK

Jason Allen, Printing Industries chief executive

Jason Allen, Printing Industries chief executive, says the price increase issues are a ‘major concern and they are the tip of an iceberg threatening the future viability’ of the entire mailing industry and all the associated sectors. Allen says, “Post has consistently failed to consult and to make an economic and social business case substantiating its actions. It has failed to highlight any improvements and benefits that businesses would be expected to provide their clients with accompanying any price increase. “We believe it has failed to meet the criteria of the Australian Government’s Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA). It has avoided quantifying the impacts of its actions across the community and failed to provide economic and social evaluation in monetary terms of its proposed actions.” Australia Post is set to increase small pre-sort mail by 37.5 per cent for regular service and 48.5 per cent for priority. At $1.08, priority residue mail will cost more than a basic stamp. 70 per cent of presort is sent on regular. The new promo post, used for direct mail campaigns, will have a less painful 24.6 per cent hike, but can only be run on the regular timetable. It makes up about 2.8 per cent of mail volume. Print post is due to have an eight to nine per cent hike already scheduled for October – priority is up 15 per cent for under 125g and 13 per cent for the rest, with regular small up 13 per cent and the rest 11 per cent.

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