How Aus Post plan could have frustrating impact on CQ
IT COULD take a letter up to seven full days to be delivered in Rockhampton and Glastone under new regulations, Federal Labor leaders claim.
Shadow Minister for Northern Australia and Queensland Senator Murray Watt as well as Queensland Senator Anthony Chisholm raised concerns over new Federal Government regulations for Australia Post.
They say Rockhampton and Gladstone will be the hardest hit by the regulations that will allow Australia Post to "scale back services, slash jobs and cut wages".
"Residents already wait longer than those in big cities for their mail, and changes recently announced by the government will push those wait times out even further," Senators Watt and Chisholm said in a joint statement.
"Under the Morrison Government's plan, mail delivery time frames in Rockhampton and Gladstone will blow out from as few as three business days to seven full days.
"And across other parts of Australia, any areas that currently receive daily postal deliveries will be cut back to every second day."
The pair called on Michelle Landry and Ken O'Dowd to explain "why they supported ripping the essential service from their communities".
"These changes will leave the jobs of up to one in four posties in limbo and put many other indirect jobs at risk," Senators Watt and Chisholm said.
"There was no consultation on these regulations before they were announced, and there was no opportunity to examine their merits. Further, the government has given no guarantees that the changes won't be made permanent following the coronavirus crisis.
"This is a cheap shot on the workers of Australia Post and people in regional communities.
"At a time of economic uncertainty across regional Australia, now is not the time to be slashing jobs or services in regional areas."
Senators Watt and Chisholm said the boom in parcel delivery was an opportunity to preserve and create jobs, not cut them.
But, Australia Post rejected claims the changes would result in job or pay cuts.
Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate said there had been a range of 'false claims' made about the temporary changes.
"We are not forcing 2000 of our valued posties into redundancies," Ms Holgate said.
"The temporary changes to letter delivery will only happen in metro areas and allow us to redeploy some of our posties to where their help is needed most - in parcel processing and delivery. We will still require posties to deliver letters.
"The shift to online retail has dramatically increased during COVID, meaning that many Australian consumers and small businesses now rely on Australia Post to get their product to their customers as their main channel of business.
"These temporary changes will allow our business to keep pace with the way Australians are currently shopping, doing business, and connecting with each other."
Capricornia MP Ms Landry said the government was committed to supporting Australia Post to provide postal services to all Australians and had in response to a request from Australia Post to help it meet customer needs by redeploying employees to its growing parcel delivery operation, agreed to adjust elements of the Australian Postal Corporation (Performance Standards) Regulations 2019.
"Under the changes, Australia Post has announced plans to retrain around 2000 posties who were previously dedicated to handling and delivering letters, a shrinking market, and to redeploy them into roles supporting parcel delivery. To further support the growing parcels operations, around 600 new roles are also being created," Ms Landry said.
"The changes are in effect from 16 May 2020 until 30 June 2021. The Government will assess the effect of these temporary arrangements before the end of the year, and decide if they are to stay in place for the full period expected.
"The Government has been advised that there will be no forced redundancies or across-the-board reductions in take-home pay due to the new temporary arrangements.
"The delivery frequency of regular mail in regional, rural and remote Australia has not changed, and those customers with a PO Box will continue to receive their letters daily."