Cardigan Village residents are up in arms at the loss of their beloved postie Lyn McNeight, who has been told her contract will not be renewed on June 30 after 20 years of delivering mail to the area.
When a teary Lyn told residents the news during her delivery rounds on Tuesday, locals vowed to fight for her and bombard Australia Post, social media and local MPs with complaints and pleas for her to stay.
Locals say Lyn always delivers their mail and packages with a smile, enjoys a chat, and puts their packages in safe places if they're not home, to save them a 20km round trip to the nearest post office for collection.
Every five years for the past 20 years Lyn has put in her tender to recontract the mail delivery for Cardigan Village and surrounding areas, but this time and without warning, her tender was unsuccessful .
She is a good old fashioned postie we hear in stories and think aren't around anymore, but we have her.Suad Athanasiou
"I get on well with all my customers. It makes a heck of a difference when you communicate with people. They said to me 'you are not just our postie you are part of our community'," she said.
"A lot of them have a standing order where I can leave parcels and sign on their behalf. We have a place worked out where we can leave parcels safe and secure ... that's how things are.
"I love my job. I take pride in my work, I take pride in doing the right thing and this is the treatment you get."
With no footpaths in Cardigan Village, Lyn drives her 4WD delivering mail and parcels at the same time.
News of Lyn's axing quickly spread on the village Facebook page and a wave of support swelled as residents began a campaign to have her reinstated.
"Lyn goes out of her way to ensure our post is delivered safely. She delivers our parcels, puts them somewhere safe. I've even had her call me when I wasn't home to check what I'd like done with a parcel," said resident Kate Ritchie.
"Each time this saves me having to go back into Ballarat to collect it from the post office which is located in the most difficult position and impossible to get a park anywhere near it. Lyn goes above and beyond and is an integral part of our community takes pride in our work and is highly regarded by our community. Very poor form on behalf of Australia Post."
Fellow resident Amanda Ellery said Lyn always made mail deliveries with a smile.
"She always waves to residents, is happy to have a chat and makes our lives easier," Ms Ellery said.
"I do a lot of online shopping, and Lyn knows where to hide my parcels as working 8:30 - 5 it's hard to pickup from our nearest post office in Alfredton. I previously lived in another area where the postie didn't even attempt to deliver parcels which was very frustrating. Since moving to Cardigan and having Lyn it's been an absolute blessing!"
Another resident Suad Athanasiou said Lyn's personal service made life easier.
"Since Lyn started bringing parcels and letter it has made life so much easier. She goes beyond that, stops for a chat with the kids, the kids look forward to seeing her, nothing is ever damaged, always in perfect condition. I don't think anyone can replace her and the rest of the community feel the same.
"She is a good old fashioned postie we hear in stories and think aren't around anymore, but we have her."
Lindy Gottlibb said Lyn was "brilliant" and her services would be missed.
"I just can't see it working if someone else takes over on a motorbike. It is rough, it is muddy, there are big drains to get to mail boxes, we don't have footpaths," Ms Gottlibb said.
"Lyn is driving a 4WD and she needs it. You need a decent car to drive into everyone's driveway. I don't know if they have looked at the practicality of the area. Here it is a trip to go into the post office, a 20 km round trip. It just came out of the blue for us."
An Australia Post spokesperson said regular reviews of mail contracts took place and parties were recently invigted to tender their interest in the mail delivery contract servicing the Cardigan Village area.
"Following a robust tender process, we appointed a new contractor, and can confirm there will be no changes to delivery services from July 1.
"We thank our existing contractor for their service to the community."
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