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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

News: Australia Post Denied Postage Price Increase as Workers Plan Industrial Action

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PostBOXAustralia Post has been denied a price hike on postage  stamps that would have seen the basic postage rate increase from 55 cents to 60 cents.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) denied Australia Post the price increase, stating in a media release today that “the proposed costs of Australia Post in the material provided to the ACCC do not reflect [the decline in usage]."

Australia Post submitted a draft pricing proposal on the 24th of July this year. This draft included proposed changes to the postal service’s Small, Large and PreSort letter services.

A media release issued by Australia Post today said that it is “disappointed by the findings of the ACCC”.

An Australia Post spokesman today told One Cuckoo Short of a Nest that Australia Post “haven’t made a decision” on whether they will appeal the ACCC’s decision, and that they will be “making a decision over the next few days”.

The ACCC has stated that it has been “unable to determine how Australia Post's demand forecasts were derived”. The spokesman also told One Cuckoo Short of a Nest that the predictions had been made in “a way we have done it the past two times [and not been rejected].” He also stated that the service was expecting a 2.3% decline in usage over the next three years and that the increased price was “reasonable” given that overseas postal services are expecting a decline of “up to 5%.”

The Australia Post media release explains that “cost pressures [are] a reality due to rapid growth in [some] areas”, and that “the basic postage rate has not even kept pace with inflation over the last two decades”. It continues to suggest that if it had Australia’s basic postage rate would presently be 70 cents.

This media release mentions that Australia post is “also in dispute with the union who are demanding additional costs be placed on the business, despite a four percent pay increase guaranteed for next year.”

Postal workers have been threatening Australia Post with work stoppages over Christmas and self-imposed bans on checking for proper postage on mail, effectively meaning that mail without stamps will be delivered.

Australia Post holds the monopoly in mail delivery in Australia.


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