Northwood lobbies AusPost in Canberra

Industry body the Real Media Collective (RMC) met with government ministers and advisors in Parliament to discuss its demand for Australia Post to reform its pricing policy and the Keep Me Posted Campaign to remove paper billing fees.

RMC CEO Kellie Northwood met with more than ten ministers and advisors across the consumer affairs, energy, communications and small business portfolios.

The report on AusPost pricing holds six demands including a reform to its weighted pricing for parcels, and incorporating print and paper industry data within its auditing.

The body is also looking to move its paper billing campaign, Keep Me Posted, moving, following the Commonwealth Treasury consultation being concluded and the report being issued to Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert. Paper billing will be included in the upcoming Consumer Affairs Forum Agenda, with the Collective calling for government support, particularly from Consumer Affairs Minister Guy Barnett MP.

Northwood says, “We have strong bipartisan support for our position with regards to Australia Post pricing policy. As an industry we must have some security in regards to the pricing policies of Australia Post across business mail. It is critical to stabilise mail volumes which in turn stabilises print volumes.”

[Related: Northwood: industry needs AusPost pricing reform

The Collective, which incorporates the Australasian Catalogue Association (ACA), Australasian Paper Industries Association (APIA) and Two Sides Australia (TSA), had formed an alliance with other industry bodies to address its concerns with Australia Post. ADMA, Fundraising Institute of Australia and Publishers all took part.

Northwood adds, “Our view is, that if Industry and Australia Post can establish the ground rules, we can work better together to promote and grow the print and mail sector – we are in the same boat so to speak, and getting these ground rules in place will allow us to move forward with greater success.”

On Keep Me Posted, Northwood adds, “The campaign has worked hard over the past two and a half years and in our meeting with Treasury yesterday we were pleased that the report has been finalised and the matter included in the CAF agenda.

“We now have a week of hard work to write to all the Consumer Affairs Ministers with the latest updated of the Australian Digital Inclusion Index which highlights how many Australians are digitally excluded and why the industry, trade unions, community groups and many many Australians have joined together to have a ban on paper billing.”

The Collective says digital fraud is on the rise, with Australians losing $2.8m in 2017, which has risen to $3.7m this year, as of September.

“Both campaigns are important for our members and we will be calling on our members this week to send their letters through to their local members and their State Consumer Affairs Ministers – this campaign has always been a people power campaign and now could be our last opportunity.”

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