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Senate to hold urgent inquiry into Australia Post

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Senate to hold urgent inquiry into Australia Post

SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED Following complaints from Australia Post franchisees around the country, the Senate will hold an urgent inquiry into Australia Post. Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, together with Victorian DLP Senator John Madigan, and Queensland LNP Senator Ron Boswell, jointly moved for an inquiry this morning with the terms of reference being; 1. The overall performance, importance and role of Australia Post in Australian communities, and the challenges it faces in the immediate and longer term; 2. The operations of Australia Post in relation to Licensed Post Offices (LPOs), with particular reference to: a. The importance and role of the Licensed Post Office network in the Australian postal system, with particular reference to regional and remote areas; b. The licensing and trading conditions applicable to LPOs, including the Community Service Obligations, and any effects these may have on operating an LPO business; and c. Marketing, retail and trading arrangements between Australia Post and LPOs and other entities. 3. Any related matters. The inquiry will be held by the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee and must report by Wednesday 11 December 2013. There are almost 3000 Licensed Post Offices (LPO’s) around the country - 75% of the Australia Post network - with many of them doing it tough because of the payment system in place. For instance, the cost of handling and delivery a parcel can be several times higher than the payment the LPO receives from Australia Post. “It’s a bizarre business model, where the busier you are, the more money you lose”, Nick said. “These LPO’s are a key part of the fabric of most communities - if they collapse it will have a massive impact”. Senator Xenophon paid tribute to the advocacy work of the Licensed Post Office group, headed by Wollongong LPO franchisee Angela Cramp, for highlighting the crisis facing LPO’s.