Mailers left frustrated with AusPost price rises

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Australia Post will increase unaddressed mail prices from the end of September, and has applied to increase the base postage rate by 10 cents from January.

Letters plumetting: Australia Post
Price hikes on the way: Australia Post

Mailing houses have expressed frustration with the proposed changes, with one mailer telling Print21 that increasing the base postage rate is at odds with Australia Post’s own stated goal of promoting direct mail, as volumes decrease when postage prices go up.

While small letters up to 50g will be unaffected by the unaddressed mail price rise, all other unaddressed mail will go up between 10 and 15 cents from September 30.

Changes are also slated for Domestic Parcels, International Letters and Parcels, Domestic letter with tracking, Mail Redirection Service, Mail Hold Service, Extra Cover (domestic and international), Money Orders, Property Verification of Identity, and Packaging.

Andrew Macaulay, CEO of the PVCA, said that the Association is working with the ACCC and the Federal Government, including meeting with communications minister Paul Fletcher, who is slated to open the Print2Parliament! event this year, to put pressure on Australia Post to find operating efficiencies rather than raising prices.

“The president, Walter Kuhn, met with the CEO of Australia Post a couple of months ago to talk about the need for it to collaborate more with the industry. We have offered a number of levels of assistance to help them find operating efficiencies, and we work closely with the ACCC on a number of other areas.

“We are actively engaged in a review process with the ACCC about the request to raise the base mail rate, and we have pointed out that Australia Post needs to find operating efficiencies instead of constantly raising prices well ahead of inflation. Post has made no efforts to find efficiencies and has simply gouged the private sector instead.

“It is our view that there needs to be pressure put on Australia Post to increase its efficiency, its performance, and its service offering. Not only have prices gone up dramatically, service levels have gone down. We’re seeking input from the industry, including meetings with some of the biggest operators in the sector to collate their concerns,” he said.

Australia Post says these upcoming changes will "help us to continue providing an efficient, accessible and sustainable community post service for businesses and consumers Australia-wide."

The national mail carrier has lodged a draft notification to the ACCC seeking to increase the base postage rate from $1.00 to $1.10 from the end of January; this would also affect services such as Print Post for magazines.

The mail monopoly says this would be the first increase in four years and claims it is essential for the sustainability of the national postal service, including the large network of Post Offices. The price of a concession stamp (60 cents) and the seasonal greeting card rate (65 cents) will not change.

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