AUSTRALIA Post is giving seven of its Ipswich region operators a lifeline worth up to $10,000 each.
The move received a mixed response from industry lobby groups LPOGroup and the Post Office Agents Association Limited.
Seven licensees and community postal agencies in the Blair electorate will benefit from the $51.4m nation-wide Australia Post payment boost that will start on July 1. Licensees will get an extra $10,000 over 12 months to cope with technology-driven downturns in business.
The boost will lift their guaranteed annual income to $30,000 a year. The smaller community postal agents that offer a few AP services will get a minimum annual payment of $7500 from the government-owned agency.
Parcel handling payments will also increase from 60 cents to $1.60.
AP managing director Ahmed Fahour said sustainability of these payments relied on proposed reforms receiving government approval.
Reforms included increasing the current basic postage rate of 70c to $1 and a new dual-speed letter delivery service.
Mr Fahour said rural and remote post office operators were being hit hard by a fall in traditional services.
"We've been working closely with our licensees to identify how to best support them in the face of digitisation, a significant challenge facing our traditional letters business," Mr Fahour said.
Mr Fahour said stamp price increases would help sustain the business.
LPOGroup head Angela Cramp said Australia Post was doing the right thing by her fellow licensees, but the reforms needed to be pushed through to ensure payments continued.
"Australia Post have indicated that all ... payment increases announced today are contingent on mail reform," Ms Cramp said.
"Therefore, it will be paramount for licensees that the basic postage rate goes to $1 and two-speed mail delivery is implemented."
"LPOGroup's members have shown great resilience and support for the association over the last two years."
- 478 Australian rural and regional licensees will get an extra $10,000 a year from July 1.
- This will boost their guaranteed annual income to $30,000.
- 495 Australian community postal agencies will get a minimum annual payment of $7500.
- Parcel handling payments for operators will jump from 60 cents to $1.60.
- If regulatory reform goes ahead, the basic stamp price will rise from 70c to $1.
- A dual-speed letter service (with fast and slow delivery) is also in the pipeline.
Source: Australia Post.