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Monday, 18 June 2012
Page: 3572

Australia Post

(Question No. 1704)

Senator Abetz asked the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, upon notice, on 14 March 2012:

With reference to Australia Post and the carriage of parcels by street mail contractors:

(1) Given that Australia Post claims that, due to declining letter volumes, street mail contractors have the capacity to deliver small parcels, how can Australia Post expect a street mail contractor, who tendered for the mail contract on the basis that he or she would be delivering letters, to be expected to carry parcels.

(2) Does Australia Post compensate parcel contractors for income lost because of parcels being allocated to street mail contractors.

Senator Conroy: The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) Street mail contractors have delivered small packets/parcels for many years and the time to sort and deliver these items is included in the tender process. It is considered that any increase in the volume of small parcels reduces the impact of declining letters volumes. Contractors are advised in information booklets of the requirement to deliver small packets and may reasonably request a review of the contract where mail volume and subsequently the time taken for delivery substantially varies from the terms of the contract.

(2) The estimated volume of parcels for delivery by a particular contractor forms the basis of the contract price incorporating labour, vehicle and associated operating costs. While Australia Post does not guarantee volumes within the contract, where a material variation occurs from the Services and/or the Performance Requirements, the Contract Fee may be adjusted by both parties negotiating in good faith.