Jobs lost in postal shake-up

TWO jobs will be lost at the Lavington distribution centre as part of a shake-up within Australia Post that will result in next-day mail delivery no longer being guaranteed in some regional areas.

This comes after The Border Mail reported last month voluntary redundancy programs were being offered to workers.

Australia Post will no longer guarantee next-day delivery to and from towns outside the Albury, Lavington, Corowa, Mulwala and Wodonga postcodes.

An Australia Post spokeswoman said nationally the average number of letters delivered per letterbox each day had dropped 25 per cent from 2 in 2008 to 1.5.

“To support this, we are transferring non-local mail processing to major regional or metropolitan processing facilities,” she said.

“This means some towns will have their service adjusted with non-local mail between metro and regional areas taking two days to reach its destination.”

She said Australia Post appreciated the impact it may have on residents in the areas affected.

Changes will apply as of March 3.

Communications Electrical Plumbing Union NSW secretary Jim Metcher said the small number of redundancies was a win for the union.

“The original proposal was there was going to be no processing in regional centres and mail would all go to automated plants,” he said.

“But now the centres will remain, which has minimised the number of job losses.”

Mr Metcher said people in regional centres needed to work to still maintain next-day delivery in some areas.

“We understand they had to make some employees redundant because of the mail volumes against the cost of maintaining the existing service,” he said.

Farrer MP Sussan Ley said smaller communities would not be treated as second class citizens but believed changes would not have a major impact on the electorate.

“Smaller communities across Farrer do not accept being treated as second class. Provided the delivery times Australia Post say we’ll get are met, I don’t believe there will be major concerns,” she said.

“New technology is quite obviously giving Australia Post some major challenges to its delivery operations and revenue.

“I believe they’ve been pretty open on the need to adjust and attempting to do so with minimal disruption to our local workforce.”

There will be 23 employees left at the Lavington distribution centre and the spokeswoman said there were no more planned redundancies.