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Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Page: 5398

Mr DUTTON (4:02 PM) —I rise today to speak on an issue that is important for the residents of Mount Samson, Samsonvale and surrounding areas in my electorate—that is, the lack of a local postbox. At a recent mobile office in the area, local residents presented me with a petition outlining the need for Australia Post to provide a red postbox in Mount Samson. The petition contained almost 300 signatures. Given the local community, including the nearby areas of Cedar Creek and Closeburn, comprises less than 1,500 people, 300 signatures demonstrate an overwhelming level of community demand for this service. Currently residents have to drive to Dayboro, Samford Village or Warner to access the nearest red postbox. That is a return journey of between 24 and 36 kilometres simply to post a letter. This is not just an inconvenience and a waste of time for local residents; the situation poses real problems for those with limited means of transport, particularly the elderly and the frail. For a community so close to the Brisbane CBD, this level of service in the 21st century is simply unacceptable, and it is a double blow given that this very same region is excluded from coverage under Labor’s much vaunted NBN program.

On the issue of broadband, I note with extreme disappointment that local residents would have had access to broadband for about six months by now under the previous, coalition government’s OPEL plan. The NBN Labor government plan appears to be as far away now as it ever was, and in any case I understand that Dickson residents from around Sanford, Dayboro and the regions in between will simply not be covered under Mr Rudd’s plan.

I will be fighting hard to assist local residents in their fight for a postbox to service Mount Samson, Samsonvale, Cedar Creek, Closeburn, Cashmere and Armstrong Creek. I have written today to the managing director and chief executive officer of Australia Post and invited Australia Post to begin consultation with the local community. Although it will ultimately be a matter for Australia Post, I agree with the suggestion by locals that the postbox should be located close to the primary school, town hall, childcare centre and shops on Winn Road in Mount Samson. That location is relatively central for local residents, and it is also convenient given its proximity to the services used most often by local residents.

I will be presenting the petition of local residents to the House in due course. I look forward to a favourable response from Australia Post. I seek the support of members of this House in achieving that objective, and I very much look forward to continuing to fight on behalf of the residents in my community on this particular issue, specifically those residents who live around Mount Samson, who are in great need of this service.