A petition with more than 1000 signatures from Sebastopol residents has landed in federal parliament, reiterating calls to keep the Albert Street post office open.
Ballarat MP Catherine King spoke in parliament on Tuesday afternoon, excoriating the decision to close the post office, which will be relocated to the Delacombe Town Centre.
The post office's impending closure was revealed in December, provoking community anger, particularly from older residents who rely on it to pay bills and use other services.
In parliament, Ms King excoriated the decision.
"Instead of standing by and accepting this, the proud community of Sebastopol stood up, got organised, and began to make their voice heard," she said.
"Yes, Delacombe needs a post office, but so does Sebastopol - these two communities should not be played off against each other."Catherine King MP
"The redoubtable Joan Brown, along with Ian Rowe, Gail Locke and many other engaged locals, reached out to the community, began a community campaign, staged protests, wrote letters, made phone calls and circulated a petition.
"Unfortunately, the Minister and CEO of Australia Post are yet to heed the calls of the community, pushing ahead earlier this month with their plan to close the Sebas post office."
She noted demographics in the area are changing - while Sebastopol has about 10,000 residents, 20 per cent of whom are over 65, Delacombe has the highest annual growth rate in the state.
"Yes, Delacombe needs a post office, but so does Sebastopol," she said.
"These two communities should not be played off against each other."
The decision to close was based on the current licensee choosing to move their business to Delacombe, she noted, but "the post office building is still there, the facilities are ready, all that is needed is a new license, a new operator and the Sebastopol Post Office can quickly be up and running".
"Australia Post exists to provide a service to the community. By closing this Post Office essential services are being denied to many across Sebastopol," she said.
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There are four post offices within four kilometres of the Albert Street site - an Australia Post spokesperson said the relocation allows the licensee to "better support growth in the surrounding area".
"The outlet was servicing many of these customers as their parcels were carded to the outlet," they said.
"The business had outgrown the old premises and required a larger shop to better service the existing customer base and to have greater capacity for the parcels received."
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