After 200 people crammed into the Glenroy Post Office Place on August 4 calling on Australia Post not to close it, the community rallied outside Australia Post headquarters in the CBD on August 17.
A notice pinned to the Glenroy Post Office door in June announced it would close on August 25. People were redirected to small businesses which have become Licensed Post Offices (LPOs) in nearby suburbs.
Glenroy resident Molly McGuire told the August 4 rally that she would be badly impacted by the closure.
“As a legally blind person, I am reliant on public transport, taxis and the good will of others to get around. I can walk to this Post Office from my home … The Post Office is local and situated within a stone’s throw of the train station and other amenities.”
Glenroy is the biggest shopping centre in the northern suburbs and, importantly, it is an accessible public transport hub. None of the surrounding LPOs are located in public transport hubs and some are not accessible.
A petition to save the Glenroy Post Office quickly garnered close to 3000 signatures.
Glenroy Post Office is one of around 30 corporate post offices in metropolitan areas that Australia Post is closing. Australia Post calls post offices that are directly owned by Australia Post, corporate post offices. They are usually in the busiest shopping centres, which are also public transport hubs.
Australia Post has already privatised most post offices across Australia with LPOs making up around two-thirds of all post offices across the country.
LPOs are private businesses that are licensed to operate as post offices by Australia Post. LPOs operate like a franchise for Australia Post.
Those slated for closure, or which have already been closed, are: Glenroy; Hampton; Wheelers Hill; Burwood; Mitcham; Essendon; Box Hill Central in Victoria; Logan City Centre in Queensland; Penrith in New South Wales and Oaklands in South Australia. Australia Post announced in April it was axing 400 jobs at its Naarm/Melbourne head office.
The Communication Workers Union – Postal has urged the federal government not to “privatise by stealth”. In its submission to the federal Postal Services Modernisation consultation discussion paper which closed in March, the union said that “the increasing reliance on, and subsidisation of, LPOs is a form of privatisation by stealth”. It urged the government to “consider supporting Australia Post to buy back licenses from LPO operators”.
“If the Government is to deliver on its commitment to keep Australia Post fully publicly owned, to ensure post offices with full-service offerings remain accessible in regional and rural communities, a corporate post office [an Australia Post-owned post office] is the best choice for customers and workers.”
[Visit the Save Glenroy Post Office Facebook page to help the campaign.]