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Stamping down on postal industry complaints.



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Stamping down on postal industry complaints

Australians dissatisfied with postal services will be able to take their complaints to a dedicated, independent body under reforms to the postal industry announced today by the Australian Government.

The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Richard Alston, said the Government will deliver on a key election commitment by establishing a Postal Industry Ombudsman.

Australia's postal system is amongst the best in the world and the introduction of the Postal Industry Ombudsman will ensure that it is even better in the future.

Consumers are not currently able to take their complaints on the delivery of postal services to a recognisable, dedicated and independent entity. The establishment of the Postal Industry Ombudsman will set up a high-profile office to investigate postal complaints relating to Australia Post and other industry operators who opt in to the scheme.

The dedicated Postal Industry Ombudsman will be set up within the respected and independent Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman, who already investigates complaints about Australia Post's delivery of postal services.

This system will ensure a balance is struck between protecting the rights of consumers and the cost and complexity of administering the scheme. The establishment of a new industry-based scheme was judged unjustified given the relatively low level of complaint against the postal industry.

The additional costs of administering the Postal Industry Ombudsman scheme will be recovered from Australia Post and other industry participants.

Postal operators who do not wish to use the Postal Industry Ombudsman scheme will still be covered by existing State and Territory consumer protection legislation, and complaints about these operators can continue to be referred to the State and Territory Offices of Fair Trading.

Media contact: Simon Troeth 02 6277 7480 or 0439 425 373 Website: www.richardalston.dcita.gov.au

183/03 1 October 2003