ABC Radio Adelaide Mornings – AusPost

Friday, 04 September 2020

DAVID BEVAN: Amanda Rishworth is the Federal Labor Member for Kingston, we’re talking about the southern suburbs of Adelaide. Now apparently this is a program that’s going to be trialled by Australia Post. Good morning Amanda Rishworth.

AMANDA RISHWORTH, SHADOW MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT: Good morning David.

BEVAN: So they’ve picked on your electorate have they?

RISHWORTH: What happened is the Federal Government has put a regulation into the Parliament that allows Australia Post to reduce their service standards, delivering mail instead of once everyday, once every two days. We’ve been notified by Australia Post that they’re actually going to implement that now in the southern suburbs of Adelaide. All the suburbs in my electorate will be affected and getting post only every second day.

BEVAN: Which suburbs are we talking about?

RISHWORTH: Hallett Cove, Sheidow Park, Seaford, pretty much my whole electorate which is about a tenth of the State. Now they can do it across the whole country, and they’ve said this is only going to be temporary for COVID, well this regulation allows it to happen until June next year which doesn’t seem very temporary. And I think unfortunately it’s going to be a slippery slope into reducing the level of service that people do get.

BEVAN: And when does this start?

RISHWORTH: I’ve got the letter here from Australia Post, it started a week ago now, so every second day. I think the other problem is Australia Post has been talking about an increase in parcels, but actually our posties don’t just deliver letters everyday, they do deliver small parcels. So it’s not only going to be letters, it’s going to be small parcels that are going to be delivered every second day. The other change of standards which has an impact as well is instead of three days for an intrastate letter, Australia Post standards now will be five days. So if you add five days onto two days, actually sending a letter within the State will take seven days to get there.

BEVAN: Right, and as we were working through this this morning we were thinking hang on, sometimes you get a letter for a bill and it says you’ve got two weeks to pay, and then you look at the date they sent it to you and that was several days ago. So then you go hang on in reality I’ve got a week or maybe less to pay. And then if the post is only going to be delivered every other day, well that just blows it out by another 24/48 hours.

RISHWORTH: Absolutely, and so many people do not rely on email. There’s sort of the assumption that everyone’s gone to email bills but that is just not the case. I obviously have been communicating with my electorate and they are very, very angry about it, and I think it was very disappointing. We tried to stop the regulation in the Parliament, we weren’t successful, but I think this is going to have a really big impact on people getting their bills, being able to pay on time, and not finding themselves in a really difficult position.

BEVAN: Okay well Sam Duluk who is the Liberal Member for Waite in the State Parliament, he’s just texted me to say it’s the same situation in Blackwood, Belair, Bellevue Heights, post delivered every other day. And Deb says “I tried to find out if my suburb of Warradale is included in the 40 suburbs which are included in the trial by Australia Post, and they couldn’t tell me.” It appears the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.

RISHWORTH: Yes well I’ve got my suburbs sent to me by Australia Post, but I think we’ll unfortunately see this rolled out across the country because I think they’re starting with us, but the standards have been weakened for everywhere in the country. So I think it’s very, very worrying, and the argument from Australia Post that there are less letters, well we still have bus services that might not be full because people need that public transport, and people still need to communicate by letters. I think there is an obligation to actually be providing that public service.

BEVAN: We did ask for somebody from Australia Post to talk about this but they said nope you can get a statement. The statement basically confirms what Amanda Rishworth has said. If they want to get their message over they can come on and talk about it, I’m not going to read the statement. It’s basically just confirming what Amanda Rishworth has said.

ENDS

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