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Tuesday, 23 August 1994
Page: 126

(Question No. 1384)

Senator Bell asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications and the Arts, upon notice, on 9 May 1994:

  (1) Is it a fact that it is not possible to buy a postage stamp at the domestic terminals of Sydney airport; if so, why and is this an appropriate way to service the needs of Australian travellers and overseas tourists.

  (2) If it is appropriate, how is Sydney different from Melbourne airport which provides at least one franking label machine, two dispensers of packaged stamps and an Australia Post retail shop.

Senator McMullan —The Minister for Communications and the Arts has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question, based on advice from Australia Post:

  (1) & (2) Australia Post is conscious of the need to provide quality customer service at the domestic terminals of Sydney airport. Postage stamps were available at both the Ansett and Qantas (domestic) terminals up until early 1994.

  In the case of the Ansett terminal, the Post Office Agency that operated at the terminal for many years closed in June 1993 when Australia Post was unable to find anyone who was interested in taking over following the retirement of the former Agent.

  An agreement was negotiated with another business at the terminal for the sale of postal products and this arrangement continued until the business changed hands in March 1994 when the new proprietors advised Australia Post that they were unwilling to continue providing the service.

  In the case of the Qantas (domestic) terminal, the postal commodity vending machine that was

provided at the terminal proved quite successful when it was first installed. However, the machine was subsequently relocated by the terminal management and was eventually withdrawn in January 1994 because of poor patronage and increasing unreliability.

  Australia Post has been canvassing businesses at the terminals, and negotiating with terminal management, with a view to re-establishing postal services at both domestic terminals.

  Australia Post expects to have postage stamps and other postal products available at the domestic terminals in the very near future. It is most likely the products will be provided through either a licensed merchandising arrangement known as "Postpoint" or through more reliable and better positioned postal commodity vending machines.