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Thursday, 20 June 2013
Page: 6586

Mr CIOBO (Moncrieff) (12:08): I rise today to talk about a serious matter involving what is, frankly, bureaucracy at Australia Post. I am a representative of the Gold Coast, Australia's sixth largest and fastest-growing city. There are a number of unique challenges to our city which, although not exclusively unique to the Gold Coast, tend to affect my city more than most other places. I am talking, in particular, about multifloor, multi-unit dwellings and about, in this case, the refusal by Australia Post, thanks to their largely monopolistic position, to comply with the demands of customers and with my demands as the federal member for the area.

My concern is about the fact that, in my electorate, I have a number of multi-apartment buildings and many of these buildings are in excess of 40, 50 and 60 floors in height. Australia Post refuses to deliver mail to residents in those buildings in a dedicated mail delivery room or indeed, in many instances, to their actual letterboxes contained within those buildings. Frankly, Australia Post's approach reeks of bureaucracy and the kind of arrogance that is consistent with a monopoly provider such as Australia Post.

I have one particular building in my electorate, Circle on Cavill, which is compromised of two high-rise apartments, with a large number of local residents living there, with a dedicated mailroom on the third floor of the building complex and Australia Post will not deliver mail to the third floor. Instead, Australia Post delivers mail in bulk to the receptionist in the ground-floor lobby of the apartment building and washes its hands of it so that you have third parties effectively sorting mail and delivering mail into people's letterboxes.

This is not confined to Circle on Cavill. This situation exists across many apartment high-rise buildings on the Gold Coast and in particular in my electorate of Moncrieff. The time has come for Australia Post to wake up. I am sick to death of the arrogance of Australia Post in refusing to do what is required of them. They have customers who pay their postage. Those customers expect to have mail delivered to them and not dealt with by third parties. I have even had constituents come to me gravely concerned because they have been in dispute with resident managers and, lo and behold, their mail starts disappearing. Why? Because Australia Post dumps the mail with the resident manager and says, 'That's it. We take no further responsibility for having to actually sort the mail. The resident manager can deal with it.' Yet the resident manager may be in direct dispute with the body corporate or with individual apartment owners.

The simple reality is that these high-rise apartments represent suburbs in the sky. If they were all individual houses in a suburb, Australia Post would be required to deliver mail to every single one of those residences across the suburb. But, because they are in high-rise apartments, with dedicated mailbox facilities in the vast bulk of them, Australia Post will not comply with what I believe is their obligation to deliver the mail. The most galling aspect of Circle on Cavill is that, before the building was built, the developer actually consulted with Australia Post about how they should go about making the most convenient point for delivery of mail. At that stage, the developer was advised that they should have a dedicated mailroom facility, which they do and which in this particular case is on the third floor because that is a common floor to both high-rise buildings.

That notwithstanding, despite years of me attempting to put pressure on the management of Australia Post, they will not deliver to the third floor for residents. They will only deliver to the ground floor and to the receptionist. When I tried to achieve an outcome in this, Australia Post's solution, reeking of arrogance and bureaucracy, was: 'Move all the letterboxes to the ground floor and put them in the lobby.' It beggars belief that Australia Post, who currently can simply pull up in their mail van on the ground floor with a dedicated elevator up to the third floor—for no other purpose than to go from the ground floor to the third floor—say they will not instruct their staff to deliver mail to residents in that building.

If this ongoing arrogance from Australia Post management continues, I am absolutely of the view that one would have to question the reason they maintain a monopoly. If this monopoly gives rise to the kind of attitude that I have seen now consistently from Australia Post management, then Australia Post management needs to be brought into question. In addition to this, Australia Post will also not redirect mail for high-rise residents because they say it is too difficult for them to isolate an address—although obviously apartment addresses are not unique things; they exist across the country. Wake up, Australia Post. It is not good enough and your arrogance reeks.