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Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Page: 8706

Mr O'DOWD (Flynn) (13:52): Postal services in my electorate of Flynn have been deteriorating now for some time. The part-closure of the Chapple Street post office in Gladstone was the start. Services in areas such as Bluff, Rolleston, Banana, Wowan and Dululu have been suffering in the last 12 months. In Bluff, for example, residents were told that the services had to be cut off and that they would have to collect their mail from the nearby town of Blackwater after a replacement operator could not be found. There was not enough money to induce anyone to take the post office on. Unfortunately, services in Blackwater were not sufficient to support the Bluff mail service, and they had no available postboxes either. After much confusion, Australia Post saw fit to provide postboxes at Bluff in the town hall, and, together with efforts from the ladies of the local CWA, they restored a temporary, limited service.

I wish to highlight the importance of postal services in our regional Queensland towns. They are vital to the survival of small towns and are very sorely missed when not available. We have seen this happen in Bluff and other areas. People come in from far away—they could travel 200 kilometres—to pick up the mail, to find that the post office is no longer there or the service is not available. I thank the ladies of the CWA at Bluff for their commitment to the community and assure the residents of Flynn that I will continue— (Time expired)