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Thursday, 9 February 2017
Page: 633

Wodonga: Australia Post

(Question No. 623)

M s Cathy McGowan asked the Minister representing the Minister for Communications, in writing, on 21 November 2016:

(1) Why does it take eight days for a letter posted at the Wodonga Post Office to be delivered to a Post Office Box in the same building.(2) Where and how is mail, which is posted in Wodonga for a Wodonga address, sorted.(3) Is it a fact that mail posted in Wodonga to go to Sydney, is sent via Melbourne.(4) What modelling has Australia Post done on the costs of centralising mail sorting.

Mr Fletcher : The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Australia Post's customers have a choice of Priority and Regular letter services for sending their letters within Australia. This allows them to pay for the delivery speed and service that best suits their needs. All items are delivered according to the delivery timetables for Priority and Regular mail, which Australia Post publicly advertises.

Australia Post advise that for a letter posted in Wodonga that is addressed to a Wodonga Post Office Box, the Priority service offers a usual delivery time of one business day after the day of posting, while the Regular service is up to two business days longer than Priority. While Australia Post recognises there may be isolated incidents of delayed mail, it delivers more than three billion items every year and the vast majority arrive safely and on time.

Australia Post closely monitors its delivery service to ensure it meets its service performance targets. In 2015-16, 96.2 per cent of reserved services letters were delivered early or on time, which is above Australia Post's required Community Service Obligation of 94 per cent.

(2) Letters that are carried by the Priority service are retained and processed in the local area and delivered next business day.

Letters carried by the Regular service are separated from the Priority letters and are sent to Australia Post's facility in Melbourne for machine processing and delivery in line with its Regular timetable. Transferring Regular letters to relevant regional and state mail processing centres allows Australia Post to make better use of advanced automation technology at major mail centres and more efficiently and accurately process mail. Australia Post's machines process on average 400,000 items each per day, which is far more efficient than manual processing.

(3) Yes. Transporting mail to key processing facilities for faster and more thorough sorting is done using existing transport routes and items are delivered in line with Australia Post's Regular and Priority timetables.

(4) The centralised processing of mail enables Australia Post to make better use of best-practice automated mail processing technology at its larger facilities. Diverting the processing component to Australia Post's major facilities enables it to sort large volumes of mail more efficiently and accurately. These changes enable Australia Post to realise significant cost benefits through the use of available capacity on both existing transport routes and processing machines. Australia Post has introduced these changes while maintaining its Community Service Obligations and meeting its customer service promise.