A possible service improvement for Windorah and Jundah resident has received brickbats rather than bouquets for Australia Post, all because of a lack of community consultation, according to the Member for Maranoa.
On Monday, David Littleproud demanded Australia Post reinstate a mail run between Jundah to Windorah, which he said had stopped abruptly stopped last month without warning or community consultation.
“I’m absolutely furious Australia Post has pulled its mail service between Jundah and Windorah, from July 1, and didn’t even bother to consult or give the community time to fight this heavy-handed decision,” Mr Littleproud said. “I’ve made urgent contact and formal representations to Australia Post, strongly urging this service be reinstated.”
According to Barcoo shire mayor, Bruce Scott, the service between Jundah and Windorah, receiving mail from Longreach, was established early last decade and was “working fine”.
An Australia Post spokeswoman said that in April they had informed residents in both communities that the mail delivery would be rerouted, meaning that residents would receive delivery on two days instead of one under present arrangements.
“Mail bound for Jundah is now serviced by a contractor out of Longreach and will be delivered on Tuesdays and Fridays,” she said. “Mail bound for Windorah is now serviced by a contractor out of Toowoomba and will be delivered on Mondays and Thursdays.”
She said that because of decreasing mail volume and the number of delivery points in the area falling from seven to three, the original mail route was no longer sustainable.
“In this instance, we were able to enhance delivery by expanding a route that operates twice weekly compared to the previous service, which only ran on Saturdays.”
Mr Littleproud said if that was the case and services had been improved, that was good.
“They’d get bouquets rather than brickbats if they’d just done it the right way and involved the community,” he said. “Consultation is not telling people, it’s bringing them on the journey.”
There was a similar message from Cr Scott.
“The people involved in Jundah only heard about the change via a letter sent to the Windorah post office.
“The change isn’t the end of the world but it would have been nice for local government to be involved in the conversation.
“Windorah’s community of interest is with Longreach, 300km away, not with Charleville 400km away.
“They go there for medical appointments and the like.
“Now their scripts will come to them from Longreach via Rockhampton, Brisbane, Toowoomba and Charleville.”
While he initially said that unacceptable mail delivery delays were taking place thanks to a week-long service loop rather than the three-hour drive from Longreach, Mr Littleproud said on Tuesday he understood what Australia Post was trying to do after they finally responded to him.
“It does help if they engage – who knows, they might have got an even better outcome.”
Responding to comments of a lack of consultation, the Australia Post spokeswoman said the company would from time to time adjust delivery routes to take advantage of efficiencies.
“These changes comply with our community service obligations that ensure mail is delivered to timetable across the country,” she said.
“Australia Post is committed to providing an accessible, reliable and sustainable mail service.
“If customers have concerns or questions about these changes to their mail delivery we encourage them to log an enquiry at auspost.com.au/help or call 13 POST.”