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Delivering for the future: a new level of postal services.



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Delivering for the Future: A New Level of Postal Services  

With the launch of its postal policy, Delivering for the Future, the Coalition today announced a range of new consumer focused postal initiatives designed to ensure that all Australians continue to receive the highest possible levels of service in this crucial industry sector.

 

Enhancing Performance Standards

The Coalition will add new performance standards to those introduced in 1998. These will require Australia Post to meet delivery standards in relation to business mail delivery and stipulate the procedures for the provision of new delivery services. The current standards will also be enhanced, including a requirement for delivery performance targets to be met on a State by State basis.

 

A Postal Industry Ombudsman

The Coalition will establish a dedicated Postal Industry Ombudsman who will operate in a similar fashion to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman in assisting customers who have not been able to resolve disputes satisfactorily with postal operators.

 

The industry funded Ombudsman will also be responsible for reporting on service standards and developing codes of practice in relation to dispute resolution and complaints handling mechanisms.

 

Extending the Community Service Obligation

The introduction of communications alternatives (eg telephone, email, facsimile) has not lessened the importance of the delivery of physical items to and from remote areas of Australia.

 

So iIn recognition of this fact the Coalition will expand the current community service obligation to include the delivery of health and educational material to and from remote areas of Australia. This will enable people living in remote areas to send and receive parcels up to a specified weight at a fixed price.

 

Assisting Small Business

To assist small business in accessing postal services and obtaining information on the best products and services to meet their needs, the Coalition will work with Australia Post in establishing dedicated Small Business Units in each State and Territory. These units will be responsible for providing advice and assistance to small business operators and act as the first point of contact in relation to disputes.

 

This comprehensive policy stands in stark contrast to the Labor Party which has indicated that it would impose a massive and totally uncosted burden of at least $160 million on Australia Post and its small business licensees. This would put at risk the future of one of Australia�s most respected public institutions. The bottom line is - Labor cannot be trusted on postal policy �after all they closed 277 postal outlets when last in Government.

 

Media Contact:           Annabelle Herd 0408 293 458

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21 October 2001