Businesses feel discriminated against by Australia Post
BUSINESSES on The Discovery Coast are feeling disadvantaged, even discriminated against by Australia Post as their parcels sit out in the blazing sun or pouring rain.
With no parcel delivery service for Australia Post customers in Agnes Water, packages, heavy parcels and boxes have to be collected by customers from the Agnes Water Post Office.
And the small shopfront can't cope with huge volumes, overflowing out onto the outside loading dock at the mercy of the elements and potentially thieves.
Agnes Water newsagent Gwen Bills said a parcel delivery service was essential for the town as businesses were suffering.
"We get a fair bit delivered by couriers, but yes many packages do go to the post office and we have to go up and collect them,'' Ms Bills said.
"We need a parcel delivery service - other places do and we pay the same.''
With the internet shopping boom, particularly in regional and rural areas, the parcel and package volume at regional post offices in particular has become a tsunami and the offices cannot cope.
Staff are spending much of their time shifting the loads in and out of storage areas, often crammed to the ceiling.
The staff at the Agnes Water Post Office are being swamped in parcels - but gagged from speaking out by Australia Post.
An Australia Post spokeswoman in Melbourne said: "With more and more Australians shopping online
the Agnes Water Licensed Post Office has seen a large increase in the volume of parcels at the post office.
"This has created temporary storage capacity issues. To ensure the safety of customers and staff in the store and the security of parcels an additional temporary secure storage facility will be put in place outside of the post office next week to accommodate parcels.''
The spokeswoman said unlike other postal areas in the Gladstone region such as Tannum Sands, "Agnes Water is located over 150kms from Gladstone that currently does not have a street delivery service for mail or parcels''.
Businesses in the district losing money
AGNES Water business woman Lorraine Harvey is furious businesses in the district are losing money because of what she believes is Australia Post's lack of concern for regional and rural Australians.
"Don't get me started,'' she said.
"Many places get parcel delivery services, but not us.
There are businesses like this one (Agnes Water IGA Supermarket), and the newsagent, and the hardware - and I could go on - who get many parcels and packages of things essential to their business and they don't know when or if it has arrived.
"Every day someone has to go up to the post office, queue and then try and carry huge loads back to their business.''
Ms Harvey said goods had to sit out in the hot sun or torrential downpours because the small post office could not physically contain the bulk of the deliveries.
"Internet shopping is booming, particularly in (regional) towns and Australia Post is not keeping up,'' she said.
"I've got a form and will be putting in complaints (to Australia Post) as both a business and a personal customer, and plenty of other business people I have spoken to will be as well.''
ONLINE SHOPPING BOOM
- One in two Australians over age 15 now shop online.
- Online Retail Sales Indexes indicate Australians will spend $16b in online shopping in 2012 up by 17.9%.
- Online shopping is it expected to rise to $26.9b by 2016.
- Regional and rural Australians are some of the biggest online shoppers.