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Tuesday, 3 December 1985
Page: 2784

Senator WALSH —On 28 November Senator Foreman asked a question about the performance of Australia Post in comparison with its Canadian counterpart. I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard the further information I have obtained.

Leave granted.

The document read as follows-

Senator Foreman referred to the performance of Australia Post compared with that of its Canadian counterpart.

Before commenting on this comparison I must point out that comparisons of the quality, cost and efficiency of postal services with other countries have to be made with caution because of the very substantial differences between countries in terms, for example, of population size and density, geography and the methods of pricing and cost recovery. However, it is true to say, in broad terms, that the postal service provided by Australia Post compares more than favourable with its overseas counterparts.

In terms of services, Australian customers benefit from air transportation of a very large part of the mail across the length and breadth of the country. The service standards which apply provide for delivery of most letters within one or two days of posting.

Australia Post is required to raise, through its charges, revenue sufficient to cover all its operating expenses and to fund at least half of its capital expenditure. This has been achieved consistently. Moreover, Australia Post has continued to provide value for money by ensuring that the rate of increase in its charges has been kept below the CPI in the past ten years. There would be few, if any, overseas postal administrations which could claim a better record, particularly in view of the fact that postal charges in Australia are not subsidised from the Budget, or cross subsidised from Telecommunications revenues, as is the case in several overseas countries.

Relative to overseas services such as the Canadian postal service to which the honourable senator refers, which incurred a deficit of C$300m last year, I suggest the record speaks for itself.