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The proposed Australia Post Business Mail price increase, of up to 20.6 per cent, which was due to be effective from 1 January, has been held up by the ACCC, with rejection now a possibility.

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Business mail increases: On hold

Whilst not completely dismissed, the ACCC has not approved the request from Australia Post, and will take several more months to consider the rise. Print employers group VMA is opposed to the increases, and has been lobbying strongly against them.

Australia Post wants Business Mail pricing to increase by a Volume Weighted Average (VWA) of 20.6 per cent, from January, as it seeks to stem huge losses in its Letters business, which last year ran to $1m a day.

The Print Post category, used extensively by the print and mail industry, including for magazine distribution, is included in 20.6 per cent proposal, as is Pre Sort. However, two of the other main rates used by the print and mail industry, Promo Post and Charity Mail, will see smaller increases, of 5.2 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectfully.

The estimated time the ACCC will now take to finalise its considerations is approximate and it is proposed a further few months will be required. If the proposed increase is not accepted, the matter is rejected. If the proposed increase is accepted, the next steps include Australia Post will require thirty days to inform the communications minister Michelle Rowland, and from there industry will be provided a revised effective from date.

The Visual Media Association has been working closely across this matter with the Mail Industry Coalition, Australia Post, ACCC and the Communications Department, in order to shed light on the impact the proposed price increases will have on the various mail sectors.

Kellie Northwood, CEO, Visual Media Association, said, “There is a lot of positive to take from this announcement. Historically, the ACCC have rubber-stamped some of these proposed pricing requests with little stakeholder engagement. There has been an increased level of consideration and this is welcomed. We do recognise the ACCC is focused on the outcome for consumers only, however the roll mail plays in our society is equally critical in an era of inflation and high cost of living pressures.

“The Association welcome our continued relationship with Australia Post and believe bringing the industry voice to Australia Post is crucial to our future success across the print and mail channel. We do not support Business Mail price increases and keeping these to a minimum or zero level is important for our membership and something we want to advocate for long into the future.

“We are passionate about promoting the role Business Mail plays across Australian society, it provides a solid communication balance to what we now know is digital saturation, fatigue and distrust that physical mail does not experience.”

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