Australia’s post office service is now being told to dump unused mail for a cheaper price.
The Government announced a package of measures last week to cut the cost of postage in an effort to boost the economy.
It’s one of a number of measures that have already been announced, including a package to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, to provide paid holiday for thousands of public servants, and to make the public broadcaster and ABC open more.
But the Government’s plans will mean that most of Australia’s existing postal services will be closed in the coming weeks.
It said it had made the decision to scrap its entire collection of stamps, envelopes and postcards.
“Postal services will no longer be a part of Australia Post,” a statement said.
“Australians will be able to get their parcels delivered at home, or have them sent to their nearest post office.”
“A small but important part of the postal service is being discontinued, as part of this government’s plan to modernise our post office system.”
Australia Post said it was already seeing a dramatic drop in business, but it was not a surprise to see such a large portion of the service being eliminated.
“We’ve had a number a significant issues in recent years, particularly issues relating to our delivery and collection of postal mail,” a spokesperson said.
“These have resulted in our services being reduced by half over the past year, but this will not be an easy process.”
The Government’s move is likely to be welcomed by business owners, but also by people who rely on the services to receive their packages.
“I don’t think that the Government is actually putting a dent in the postal services,” one business owner told Al Jazeera.
“The fact that they’re doing it, and they’re not even doing it on the first day of the holiday period, they’re going to continue to slash prices and put the business back at risk,” he said.
Australia Post has said it would continue to accept the postcard, postcard envelope and postcard stamp as long as the price was still affordable.
However, it’s unlikely that the majority of customers will be happy with the price change.
The ABC contacted the Government for comment and will update this story if we receive one.