WHEN Joyce Currie went to send her daughter a birthday card, she didn’t know Australia Post had cut back on services.
Ms Currie, who lives in Wendouree, said that when she tried to deliver a card on Sunday so it would arrive in time, a new notice said Australia Post had stopped collecting letters at weekends.
“These changes were made without personally notifying anybody,” she said.
A major report released this week found Australians were using the postal system less and less, with serious consequences for Australia Post.
The Australian and International Postal Services Review assessed the “perilous” state of the mail system and supported the need for reforms.
Australia Post managing director Ahmed Fahour said there was an irreversible decline in letter volumes because more Australians were choosing to communicate digitally.
“The impact of digital communication on letter services is not unique to Australia,” he said.
“We must continue to evolve our business.”
But for residents like Ms Currie, who is in her 60s, using digital services isn’t always an option.
“Sometimes emails aren’t appropriate for the occasion and many people older than me don’t use email at all,” she said.
“It’s penalising them.”
Ms Currie also said the rise of online shopping must have increased parcel delivery “exponentially”, balancing the loss from the letter service.
However Mr Fahour said changes to the Australia Post system were necessary, otherwise the system would become unsustainable sooner.
“It will soon become necessary for the government to subsidise our deliveries, which is ultimately a cost to taxpayers,” he said.
“As we make changes, we will continue to be mindful of the impact they will have.”
Further reforms could include a two-speed letter service for businesses, which provides an option for senders to pay more for faster delivery.
Australia Post is encouraging those affected by any changes to contribute their thoughts on their website at www.auspost.com.au/conversation