Miffed Australia Post abandoning landmark Beechworth office

THE Beechworth post office, the region’s most historic, will no longer be used by Australia Post.

The mail service is vacating the 1870 heritage-listed building after a fight with Indigo Shire over its attempts to provide disabled access to the post office.

Last October, the council rejected Australia Post’s plan to build a lift outside the Camp Street entrance with a councillor saying it would be “a blight on the landscape”.

An Australia Post spokeswoman said the government firm now had no alternative to leaving the premises.

“Ensuring we have a safe and accessible single point of entry to the post office for our customers is our number one priority,” she said. 

“Unfortunately, we have exhausted all reasonable options to gain the necessary approvals to make the current building more accessible for our customers.

“As a result, Australia Post is relocating the Beechworth post office a short distance (less than 100m) on Camp Street to retain a key retail presence in the prime shopping precinct.”

The shift to No.12A near the Empire Hotel will occur before December 31.

Anticipating community concern, Australia Post is hosting three gatherings for feedback next week.

“Community members who would like more information about the changes are encouraged to come,” the spokeswoman said.

“(They) can view artist impressions of the new post office, find out more about the new services and share their views on local Australia Post services that are important to them.”

The events will be held at the Quercus community centre next Wednesday (6pm to 8pm) and Thursday (9am to 11am and 1pm to 3pm).

Disabled access to the post office has been an issue for several years.

To remedy the matter, Australia Post last September unveiled plans for a 1.45-metre long and 1.1-metre wide lift which would face into an archway in Camp Street.

It was unanimously rejected by councillors the following month.

“This application totally disregards the heritage and tourism significance of the site,” Cr Larry Goldsworthy said after labelling it “a blight on the landscape”.

Cr Bernard Gaffney said the post office was “a heritage building very dear to the hearts of people in Beechworth and Indigo Shire” and the lift plan was wrong.

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