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$5.6m man’s parting gift for mail customers

Wednesday, 12 April 2017
By Print21

Ahmed Fahour, CEO Australia Post, at a Senate Committee hearing

Australia Post is yet again increasing business mail prices, this time effective 1 July. The increases come hard on the back of average 40% increases in January 2016 and above-inflation increases in January.

Printing Industries CEO Andrew Macaulay says the parting decision by Australia Post’s outgoing CEO Ahmed Fahour to increase business mail prices in July 2017 is a slap in the face to both the Government and to Australia Post’s biggest customer sector, the mailing industry.

“Once again, the process has no transparency, Australia Post has no accountability, business is deprived of the opportunity to do any sensible planning around the increases and Australia Post’s claims to the contrary are specious,” says Macaulay.

“Federal Ministers Fifield and Cormann are in no doubt about our views that this conduct is unacceptable and damaging.  We are now ramping up our concerns with Government and using ministerial support to arrange a meeting with the new CEO of Australia Post as soon as he/she is appointed.’

The PIAA says Australia Post has begun contacting its bulk mail customers to inform them of the new price rises:

We are reviewing our Business Letter pricing and can advise that business letter prices will increase at the beginning of the new financial year.

We are providing you with the attached pricing guidance.  I am sharing this with you on a commercial in confidence basis to enable you to consider the new prices as you plan your business activities for the financial year ahead…

We are currently working through the changes and detailed pricing tables will be communicated in May.’

“Post is simply going for ‘the easy hit’ on its biggest customer segment to prop up its revenue without any formal or independent approval,” says Macaulay. “In propping up its own inefficient operations, Australia Post is slamming its business mail customers with more costs, risking irreversible damage to the mailing industry.’

“It’s fair to ask whether Australia Post is planning to price mail out of existence; whether when there is no longer an opportunity to gouge the mailing industry, will it again attack other consumers? At the point where the well is empty, will mail simply shut up shop, or will Australia Post’s social charter kick in, albeit too late?”

PIAA members are astounded by the news, coming so soon after the latest price hikes in January, according to Mary Jo Fisher, head of government relations for the PIAA.

‘They’re aghast and disgusted,” says Fisher. “It’s the same stuff, different day.”



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