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PIAA slams latest postal price hikes

Tuesday, 24 January 2017
By Print21

Printing Industries says the latest round of Australia Post price increases on plastic wrapped articles – i.e. magazines and catalogues – is unacceptable and unfairly targets commercial mailing businesses.

Australia Post’s New Year rates introduced on January 3 hiked charges on commercial mailing by an average of 3.7 percent – the latest in a series of price increases inflicted on the direct marketing, mailing and printing sectors.

The largest increases are in PreSort, at 5.1 percent, Clean Mail, at 4.4 percent, and Print Post, at 4.0 percent. Ordinary letter prices will remain the same, as will Promo Cost barcoded rates, Acquisition Mail, Sample Post, and Impact Mail.

The charges have been condemned by mailing houses as well as Printing Industries as an attack on the viability of the sector. They come as the PIAA moves to revive the Major Mail Users Association to lobby against further unwarranted increases.

“It’s disappointing that a monopoly government operation is increasing prices and taking advantage of efficiency gains from its major customers instead of finding some itself,” says PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay. “Australia Post’s claim to be working with the industry is wrong. There has been zero consultation, apart from letters marked ‘confidential’ to individual businesses. It’s not good enough.”

Ahmed Fahour, CEO Australia Post, at the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee hearing

At a Senate legislative committee hearing in October 2016, Australia Post CEO Ahmed Fahour defended the latest round of increases.

“Every business out there is going on line and encouraging their customers to go on line,” Fahour told the hearing. “What we’re saying is they’re all substituting as fast as they can to digital forms, and what we need to do is at least recover our costs for the service that we provide.”

On its website, Australia Post says: By making these changes, we’re ensuring the long-term viability of your mail and parcel delivery network; a network where we reach more Australians than any other company, through our 11.5 million delivery points and over 4,000 Post Offices.

The latest price hikes follow Australia Post’s decision to increase the cost of a standard postage stamp from 70 cents to $1 in January last year, while at the same time taking up to two days longer to deliver a standard letter. The national carrier also introduced a “priority” service, which delivers letters at the earlier speed for an extra 50 cents.





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