'Outrageous and insulting': MP slams Australia Post move
STATE MP Jennifer Howard has weighed in on the backlash following the decision to close Ipswich's CBD post office.
Ms Howard said she was not informed of the decision until PO Box holders received a letter this week to notify them of the need to relocat their mail services.
The Member for Ipswich said the timing of the decision was poor, given the fact Ipswich City Council had now committed to finishing the CBD redevelopment.
"There was no consultation; we only found out the same time as the Australia Post customers did," Ms Howard said.
"I believe the decision is premature. It is an iconic part of our CBD and there has always been a post office there.
"On one hand you've got the local businesses struggling to hang on during this redevelopment and on the other you have a wealthy corporate entity withdrawing an important service. I think it is a terrible decision."
Ms Howard she would consult with Federal MP Shayne Neumann to voice her concerns.
Mr Neumann spoke directly with Australia Post on Wednesday afternoon, before protesting against the decision in his Federal Parliament appropriation speech yesterday.
"This is an unnecessary, outrageous and insulting decision by Australia Post," he said.
"Ipswich is one of the fastest growing cities in Australia. I call for the decision to be reversed immediately.
"Australia Post, listen to the people and businesses of Ipswich."
Australia Post said dwindling customer patronage and the pending expiry of the lease on the Tower Central building had influenced the decision.
A spokeswoman said Australia Post was trying to fast-track the establishment of a Community Postal Agency in town. Community Postal Agencies provide a reduced level of service to a normal post office.
Mr Neumann said he was not satisfied with the compromise and would continue pushing for a reversal of the closure.
"It appears they have no intention of reopening the post office," he said.
"I am not very happy. They have responded but I am very disappointed."
What is a community post agency?
DETAILS on the Community Postal Agency, that Australia Post says it will try to fast-track into the CBD to replace the city's main post office, could be known in the next few days.
In a response to a call from Blair MP Shayne Neumann to reverse its decision to close the CBD post office at Tower Central in Brisbane St, Australia Post told Mr Neumann the CPA would provide an over-the counter-delivery service and accept and assess postal articles.
Australia Post has 700 CPAs scattered across the country, with about 90 per cent of them operating as part of another business.
At a minimum, they offer basic postage assessment, stamp sales and over-the-counter mail acceptance and delivery. They don't offer agency services such bill payment and banking.
Australia Post told Mr Neumann it had identified six businesses that would be suitable to accommodate the CPA, which they said could mean it would open in the next few months.
Australia Post also apologised to the Ipswich Federal MP for the lack of consultation on the decision and the impact it will have on the community.
Mr Neumann said while he was pleased Australia Post had responded to his calls, it was something of a "second best" solution.
"You don't get the same services with a CPA," he said.
"I stand by my original request that they should keep the existing post office open."
Australia Post says the Brisbane St post office will close permanently on September 13.