Australia Post will establish a new industry working group to ‘support the implementation’ of its upcoming mail changes and ‘consider other strategic issues facing the postal sector’.
Changes the group proposes to discuss include planned bulk mail price hikes, raising the cost of a stamp to $1, and the two-speed delivery timetable.
The mail carrier says this follows the recent Senate inquiry which recommended the establishment of a formal working group of industry stakeholders.
The group, to be chaired by former Victorian Senator Helen Kroger, will include representatives from the printing industry, mailhouses, licensed post offices, employee unions, and others added as required.
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Post says it is ‘committed to a thoroughly consultative approach to letters reform’ and will hold the first working group session before October 12.
Post’s move comes as the PIAA calls on new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to develop a ‘structured adjustment plan’ for the mailing industry in line with the Senate inquiry.
The inquiry’s recommendations include restoring ACCC oversight of business mail price changes, an independent review of Post’s community service obligations, and forming a postal strategy group – the recommendation Post is now following.
Chief executive Jason Allen says the association has engaged economic consultants to prepare its response to Post’s ACCC application to raise its prices from January.
“We will be illustrating the impact of Posts’ proposals on the complete value chain covering the mailing industry and its many clients who use mail because of its effectiveness, but face being priced out by a 42 per cent increase in mailing costs,” he says.
“We will be highlighting the impact on a $14.1bn industry employing some 131,000 people and the flow-on repercussions to the economy and to the community.”
Allen says the mailing and printing industry accepts structural change is necessary to take advantage of technological innovations.
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