Australia Post Management Under Fire Over Senior Executive Gifts Disclosed During Senate Estimates
Australia Post Management Under Fire Over Senior Executive Gifts Disclosed During Senate Estimates

Australia Post backflip on no perishables postage helps CQ

Thousands of Central Queensland businesses and customers can rejoice that Australia Post has backflipped on its decision to stop delivering perishables.

On Wednesday the government-owned company revealed it would stop delivering perishable foods such as meats, seafood, eggs or frozen meals from June 30, because of complex food safety and regulatory requirements across states and territories.

Suddenly, hundreds of thousands of regional businesses that rely on the service to survive were left helpless.

News of the plan spread rapidly and the criticism quickly followed, resulting in Australia Post announcing on Thursday the service will continue in a partnership with Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson.

Bruce Billson, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman – Photo Supplied
Bruce Billson, Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman – Photo Supplied

An industry working forum, to be co-chaired by Mr Billson, has been formed to resolve cross-state regulatory issues as part of Australia Post’s commitment to support producers shipping perishable goods across the country.

The forum will also have representatives from industry bodies, the small business sector and producers to find possible solutions to the complex regulatory requirements for moving these goods through the delivery network.

Rodney Boys, Acting Group CEO and MD Australia Post, said this was an important and complex landscape that is best approached by working closely with customers, industry bodies and regulators.

“We recognise the original date for ceasing perishable transport through our network would cause significant disruption to small businesses, many who have experienced significant growth in e-commerce sales during COVID-19,” Mr Boys said.

“Through this new forum, we will better understand what our customer capabilities and needs are and work hand-in-hand with regulators to determine, where changes may be required.

“I am so pleased Bruce Billson has agreed to co-chair this forum with Australia Post to develop a long-term, sustainable solution to support this growing e-commerce industry.”

An Australia Post Parcel distribution centre busy as ever processing large stacks of parcels. Picture: Steve Tyson
An Australia Post Parcel distribution centre busy as ever processing large stacks of parcels. Picture: Steve Tyson

Mr Billson said he was looking forward to working with Australia Post to ensure this essential service was available to small business food producers.

“We welcome this opportunity to work collaboratively with Australia Post to ensure small business food producers can continue to count on their delivery services,” Mr Billson said.

“I am encouraged by the willingness of Australia Post and industry stakeholders to work together to help resolve any issues Australia Post is experiencing across its delivery network.

“So let’s roll up our sleeves so that we can achieve a better outcome for e-commerce powered small businesses who rely on these essential postage services.”

Australia Post will continue to ship perishable goods as this forum continues to convene, with the first meeting between Australia Post and the Ombudsman to occur next week.

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