90 second statement – Torbanlea Post Office
Mr PITT (Hinkler) (13:46): When the Torbanlea licensed post office closed suddenly two weeks ago, I gave a commitment that I would work to ensure local postal services were restored as soon as possible. As such, I was in regular contact with Australia Post and the office of the then communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, to impress upon them the importance of retaining local services. As a direct result of strong lobbying by me and the local Torbanlea community, for the first time in 40 years the Torbanlea community’s mail will soon be delivered directly to their homes instead of to PO boxes. Those who do not wish to install a letterbox outside their home can have their mail sent to a PO box in the nearby town of Howard for the standard rate. Unfortunately, Australia Post has been unable to secure another licensee to run the Torbanlea LPO. Residents will still be able to access over-the-counter Australia Post services in Howard, Maryborough and Hervey Bay. Australia Post will be in touch over the coming months to provide details of the changes, when they will come into effect and what actions residents will need to take.
I recognise that the sudden closure came as a shock to many, but I assured residents that Australia Post does not make these decisions lightly or without good reason. Australia Post is to be commended for heeding our concerns and acting swiftly to find a middle ground. I thank Prime Minister Turnbull’s communications staff for their input. I thank the Torbanlea community for their patience, and I also congratulate them on their advocacy. They were incredibly strong on this issue. They ran a petition and they have had a success.