(Photo by Sam Mooy/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

Australia Post hits back at Maranoa MP’s costs claims

AUSTRALIA Post has hit back at David Littleproud after the Federal MP for the Maranoa slammed the service for hiking postage prices in regional and remote areas.

Mr Littleproud targeted harsh criticism towards Australia Post for supposedly planning on raising delivery prices for regional and remote areas, but Australia Post said this is not the case.

Mr Littleproud used the example of one Maranoa business owner who ended up paying 20-40 per cent more for their postage than the 13.49 per cent that Mr Littleproud claims Australia Post suggests.

"Australia Post is not increasing prices for regional and rural customers," an Australia Post spokesman said.

"These pricing changes relate to a single e-parcel contract customer and while it is not possible to comment on this customer's specific situation, contracts can be reviewed and pricing changes may occur depending on their existing pricing structures."

The spokesman said due to transport requirements, labour costs and large distances, postage fees can be higher in regional areas on some products.

"This customer's changes are not related to any temporary regulatory relief," she said.

"This customer's contract pricing changes are also separate to retail price changes that were made in September 2019, which brought significant savings to regional areas."

The Australia Post comments come after Mr Littleproud targeted the service last week.

"Australia Post increasing its parcel postage prices for regional, rural and remote areas was another slap in the face for small businesses in regional areas," Mr Littleproud said.

"Bush businesses who have already battled to keep their doors open through ongoing drought and COVID-19 are now facing yet another financial hurdle with Australia Post's price hike on regional parcel postage."

Mr Littleproud said that parcel prices will increase by 13.49 per cent for regional areas, but metropolitan areas will have them slashed by 32 per cent.

He said variable transport costs in regional areas are to blame for the increase.

"One Maranoa business owner has produced evidence showing their parcel cost increase for regional, rural and remote areas is in fact between 20 to 40 per cent, not the 13.49 per cent Australia Post suggests.

"He detailed one example where it was cheaper to post a 10kg parcel across Australia from Brisbane to Adelaide - a distance 2004km - than it was post the same parcel down the road 417km from Warwick to Tamworth merely because the 'capital rate' is much cheaper compared with the 'remote rate'."

Mr Littleproud said he had written to Minister for Communications Paul Fletcher requesting an investigation into Australia Post's regional cost 'increases'.

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