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Monday, 21 February 2011
Page: 620

Mr FRYDENBERG (1:48 PM) —I rise to raise an important issue in my electorate. On 11 February this year, Australia Post closed the post office at 254 Whitehorse Road, Balwyn, after the lease expired. Australia Post have said explicitly that the closure was not due to a broader rationalisation of their facilities but, rather, merely due to the expiry of that particular lease. In discussions with Australia Post, they have said they are considering alternative sites in the Balwyn Road area and, after a series of representations, they have now established a post point site at the Balwyn Newsagency. The post point, while welcome, is only a shadow of a fully functioning post office, as it can only sell basic post-office products such as stamps, satchels and packaging products.

Understandably, the local community is very concerned about the closure of the post office, which attracts hundreds of people a day to its store. Whitehorse Road is a bustling commercial district, and traders will be adversely affected by the closure—so too the many elderly residents in the area, who have told me they would find it difficult to travel the lengthier distances to other retail outlets in Belmore Road, Balwyn North; Whitehorse Road, Surrey Hills; and Whitehorse Road, Balwyn.

I have appreciated the discussions to date with Australia Post and I acknowledge the strong support of the President of the Balwyn Traders Association, Ian Bird; the Mayor of Boroondara, Nicholas Tragas; and the state member for Box Hill, Robert Clark. I call on Australia Post to do everything they can to find an alternative site as quickly as possible. Our community needs and deserves a fully functioning, standalone post office. (Time expired)