Mildura Weekly : Friday April 2 2015 Vol 9 No 21
10 NEWS MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2015 SUNRAYSIA Post Offices will be forced to adopt sweeping Australia-wide changes later this year in a bid to put the brakes on forecast Australia Post losses of $6.6 billion over the next 10 years. Non-urgent mail deliveries will be slower, a priority service will be introduced - at added cost - and the price of stamps for regular mail will almost certain- ly soar from 70 cents to $1, a 43 percent increase. The changes are detailed in a letter to customers, signed by Australia Post chairman John Stanhope, and managing direc- tor and group CEO Ahmed Fa- hour, who cited losses of $1.6 billion over the past six years as the reason for the changes. Mr Fahour is one of the high- est-paid executives in Australia, believed to have been paid $4.8 million last year. That included a $2 million bonus that the Fa- hour family donated to the Is- lamic Museum of Australia. The family had previously made do- nations to the museum totalling $4 million. The hard decisions made by Australia Post, in the wake of a series of public information ses- sions across the nation, come on top of the sacking of around 900 staff in domestic mail centres. The Australia Post bailout stresses to customers that the changes are essential if “world- class” services are to be main- tained. “For more than 200 years, Australia Post has continually adapted and evolved its services to suit the changing needs of the Australian community,” the postal leaders say. “Today, that means invest- ing in our nation-wide parcels network, our Post Office services and our digital capabilities so that we are offering the conve- nience, accessibility and choice that you expect, and need.” Mr Stanhope and Mr Fahour say, however, that Australians are becoming less reliant on letters as a form of communication, with business and government currently accounting for 97 per- cent of all letters. The amount of mail deliv- ered to letter boxes is down one- third in the past six years alone, representing a loss to Australia Post of $1.5 billion. If the situ- ation doesn’t change, that loss would rise to $6.6 billion of taxpayer funding over the next decade. Australia Post says it is deter- mined to preserve current mail services, as well as maintaining 4400 Post Offices Australia-wide - including 2500 in rural areas - and continue five-days-a -week mail deliveries. But the postal giant will soon introduce a non-urgent regular mail service that will take two days longer to deliver. Custom- ers who choose to retain the cur- rent ‘faster speed’ deliveries will pay more for the service. Both services will still involve five-day deliveries. The present Express Post network will also still be available six days a week. Australia Post boasts that it still has the cheapest basic stamp price in the developed world, but this will change if the Austra- lia Competition and Consumer Commission agrees to a proposed rise of stamps from 70 cents to $1. The cost of Christmas cards will remain at 65 cents, and a concession service will be made available, with 5.7 million Aus- tralian concession card holders being able to sign up for free with Mypost, entitling them to pre- buy up to 50 stamps a year for 60 cents each, with that prize frozen at 2010 levels. Australia Post says the in- creases are necessary to cope with digital changes, which have seen the number of letters delivered per household fall by a third since 2008. That means Australia Post is delivering 1.2 billion fewer let- ters than seven years ago. Australia Post has encouraged feedback on the proposed chang- es before they are introduced, more than likely by September this year. Stamps to cost $1, slower mail, ‘priority’ service to cost more... Australia Post moves to save billions of $$ Two performances scheduled for ‘Anzac on the Wall’ SINgER-songwriters Jim Brown and Vince Brophy will perform ‘ANZAC on the Wall’ in the historic Cardross Hall on Thursday, April 16, as part of Mildura Arts Centre’s WW1 and ANZAC Day Centenary Com- memorative programming. The performance will get underway at 7pm, the audience sitting at tables. Tickets are $20 a head, and may be purchased from Poppies on Ilex Street, Red Cliffs, or from Cardross general Store. The performance is BYO nibbles, but not drinks. Drinks, including, soft drink, beer, wine, tea and coffee can be purchased from the bar. Tickets are limited, so organisers are encouraging people to “get in early.” The performance will be repeated at Mildura Arts Centre from 7pm the follow- ing evening – Friday, April 17. Tickets for the Mildura performance may be purchased online, or in person at Mildura Arts Centre, 199 Cureton Avenue, Mildura, telephone 5018 8330. Alternatively, Mildura tickets are also available from Mildura Visitor Informa- tion and Booking Centre, 180 Deakin Av- enue, Mildura, telephone 50241 8376. Nominations sought NOMINATIONS are now open for the 2015 Inland Tourism Awards, and local businesses are being encouraged to apply. The Inland Tourism Awards aim to acknowledge excellence in tourism in the four regional areas of Central, Inland, Murray and Riverina New South Wales. First held in 2004, the awards are now regarded as a major tourism industry event for regional NSW and Victoria. The Awards will this year culminate in a Presentation Dinner at the Broken Hill Civic Centre on Saturday, July 2. For more information log onto www. inlandtourismawards.com.au.
Friday March 27 2015 Vol 9 No 20
Friday April 10 2015 Vol 9 No 22