By Victor Stranges
It seems the age of entitlement is coming to an end with our postal system. Australia Post chairman John Stanhope recently expressed that a user pays system was a serious consideration in the face of declining mail volumes and the company’s letter operations’ loss of $218 million last year.
Australia Post is not the only postal authority in the world drastically reviewing its business model. The United States Postal Service recorded a $1.9 Billion loss in the last quarter and is hankering for a $10 Billion bailout. Unless they get funding, their new business model will include not honoring their retiree health benefit prefunding payments. It seems a lot more serious over in the U.S.A.
Back in the land of Oz, the “user-pays” model would mean residents pay an annual bill in addition to the stamp price, which recently increased to 70¢ a couple of months ago. ”If you want it fast, you pay for it,” Mr Stanhope said recently. He also commented to Fairfax Media, “you want it more related to the cost base, so if you are happy enough for your letter to be delivered less frequently then you pay less, if you want it more frequent you pay more, if you want it express you pay more, so you pay for the level of service.”
Patrick Durkin from the Sydney Morning Herald recently reported that “Australia Post is finalising its corporate plan to government which is required to be submitted in July and needed ”to open up that conversation” with government to make the necessary changes.” Wow, a change is gonna come as Sam Cooke so prophetically sang long ago.
That explains the lead up in all the price and service changes occurring in recent months. This is the transition period from what I can tell and it’s moving very quickly. The changes are so fast that there were a few more announcements since our last newsletter.