Staff shortages bring post problems

AUSTRALIA Post has admitted it's been unable to rectify some of the problems that have been plaguing the Emerald service for months.

Central Queensland News has been reporting on delivery delays, staff recruitment and other issues since August last year.

One disgruntled customer, who wants to remain anonymous, has complained a number of times to the Postal Ombudsman and Australia Post directly.

She said her personal service has improved, but she's concerned it's been at the cost of efficient service delivery to the rest of the population.

“I got a response from Australia Post about two weeks ago,” she explained.

“They've said that the postal manager in Emerald was focusing on my mail box in particular to ensure an improvement in services, which there has been, but that defeats the purpose if they're focusing on just one post box.

“I'm more annoyed with Australia Post at a corporate level. They need to ensure their workers are staying.

“Services have improved for me but at my personal residence I'm still getting letters that aren't for me.

“I know I take the time to re-address them but there are people out there who chuck them in the bin.”

According to Australia Post spokeswoman Simone Kurtz, the corporation continued to face recruitment hurdles.

“In the last two years we have experienced high turnover and increasing difficulty in recruiting local staff to work in the Emerald post office due to the resources boom,” she said.

“We remain committed, however, to providing the best possible mail delivery service to this community.”

Ms Kurtz said they advertised a tender in April for street delivery contracts.

“We have been working hard to improve the service, however we acknowledge some ongoing issues,” she said.

“Due to the cyclical nature of the mining industry and the impacts this has on local employment, we believe offering the street delivery service as a contract will bring greater stability to the community for the long term.”

Australia Post did not confirm how many complaints about Emerald services it had so far received in 2009.

The unhappy customer believed the measures are “band-aid solutions”.

“What about the people who haven't complained that are still suffering?” she asked.

“I know of people having problems who didn't complain.

“There's a sign up on the door saying verbal abuse will not be tolerated so obviously people are still cranky at the service.

“I don't blame the manager at all. I blame the company for not giving the support they need to provide the service.

“In any other business they've had to change tack to get staff, so why is Australia Post any different?

“They need to do a better job of retaining staff and maybe they need to look at what they're offering.

“I know that a number of other businesses I work with offer housing instead of higher wages and they've been able to recruit.”

The unhappy client said a parcel she was supposed to receive worth $100 went missing last year and had never been recovered. She was told the item couldn't be tracked because it wasn't registered.

“Why should I be paying more for a service they can't get right in the first place?

“Corporately, they're not looking at regional Australia.

“It's their fault they can't retain staff and we're not getting the level of service we all should get.”

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