Post offices in rural and regional Victoria could face closures after Australia Post failed to commit to the regulated minimum of 2500 post offices.
The Leader of The Nationals, Peter Walsh, wrote to the CEO of Australia Post, Paul Graham, seeking an assurance that rural and regional Victorian post offices would remain open to provide access to vital services like banking, retail, identity and passport services, and disaster relief support.
Mr Graham’s response to Mr Walsh’s letter failed to rule out closures or mergers of post offices, despite his recent testimony to the Federal Parliament’s Senate Estimates including that Australia Post “will never abandon the regions and rural Australia”.
Mr Walsh said he was originally concerned when Mr Graham last week told Senate Estimates that it made “no sense” for Australia Post to maintain its current footprint of post offices.
“The Nationals represent rural and regional communities across Victoria who rely on post offices for postal and other services,” Mr Walsh said.
“In recent years, our rural and regional communities have faced devastating bank branch closures, hospital mergers and the loss of other crucial government services.
“We sought an assurance that Australia Post would maintain their minimum 2500 rural and regional post office footprint, because we know how important those post offices are in our smaller communities.”
Mr Walsh said that Mr Graham’s comments to the Senate and response to The Nationals will cause angst in those rural and regional communities who rely on the network of physical local post offices for vital services.
“The Nationals are alarmed that Australia Post’s response to my letter failed to commit to maintaining their current physical shopfronts,” Mr Walsh said.
“Australia Post must maintain their regulated minimum of physical post offices in rural and regional communities, and we will fight to make sure they do.”