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Tuesday, 23 October 1973
Page: 2574

Mr Bourchier (BENDIGO, VICTORIA) asked the Postmaster-General, upon notice:

(1)   Do the many small shopkeepers, who provide a service to the public by selling stamps as agents for his Department, receive any commission or margin on the sale of the stamps.

(2)   If not, has his Department any proposals to provide some remuneration to these people providing this service.

(3)   Is it a fact that this method of selling ls providing a good service to the public and that some remuneration would encourage more shopkeepers to provide the service.

Mr Lionel Bowen (KINGSFORD-SMITH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   No.

(2)   and (3) The question of the payment of a commission to persons licensed to sell postage stamps has been reviewed as part of a wide study made by my Department recently. Although the service provided by licensed vendors is appreciated, it is not proposed to pay them a commission. It is generally recognised that possession of a stamp licence offers some business advantage to the holder in that he is able to provide an added service for his customers.

Experience years ago, when a commission was paid, showed that some licences were taken out primarily to obtain a discount on postage. In addition, some vendors actively canvassed for stamp sales, without increasing the total business of the Post Office, and the reduced volume of sales at established Post Office outlets acted to the detriment of Post Office operations.

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