Have you ever wondered who owns Australia Post? Australia Post is owned by the government and it has only two shareholders. They are the Minister for Communications and the Minister for Finance.
Australia Post is a Corporate Commonwealth Entity, governed by the legislation of the Australian Postal Communication Act 1989.
Whilst it is the government who owns Australia Post, it is a self-funding business and receives no government or tax funding. Any profits produced can either be reinvested into the business or returned to the government as dividends.
Although it is the government who owns Australia Post, it is run by the Australia Post Board. The board is led by the Chairperson, and also includes the deputy chairperson, the managing director, and up to six other directors. The board and the management team are responsible for the day-to-day running of the business.
The long history of Australia Post dates all the way back to 1809 when Australia’s first postmaster was appointed. He was a former convict named Isaac Nichols, and he opened a post office in his home in Sydney, where people collected their mail from. In those days postage was paid for by the receiver rather than the sender.
Tasmania also established a postal service back in 1809 and opened its first dedicated post office in 1812.
In 1825, the first Postal Act allowed the governor of New South Wales to fix postal rates, and to appoint postmasters outside of Sydney. Letter deliveries began in 1828, and post boxes began to appear on streets from 1831.
Postal services became an important feature of Australian colonial life, with uniform postage rates established in 1849, and the introduction of prepaid adhesive stamps in the 1950s.
Postal services were governed by individual colonies until the federation of Australia in 1901 when colonial mail systems were merged into the Postmaster General’s Department.
In 1975, separate government commissions were appointed to undertake the responsibilities of the Postmaster General’s Department, one of them being the Australian Postal Commission.
The official birth of Australia Post was in 1989 when the Australian Postal Commission was corporatised into the Australian Post Corporation, or Australia Post. Ever since its creation, it has been the government who owns Australia Post.
Australia Post has come a long way since then. With over 4,300 post offices today, as well as warehouses, processing sites, call centres, and offices, Australia Post now has one of the largest property portfolios in the country. This diverse collection of properties includes 73 heritage properties included in the Commonwealth Heritage List.
They also have the exclusive right to issue stamps and to carry letters weighing up to 250g, minus a few exceptions, with a uniform service and price all across Australia. However, other goods and services provided by Australia Post operate in competitive markets.
Australia Post is still an essential part of Australian life. In 2019, they sent 3.3 billion items to 11.9 million Australian locations, as well as over 190 countries.
However, with the rise of email and messaging, Australians are sending fewer letters and seeing an increased cost to post them. In 2015 Australia Post suffered its first loss in 30 years, and the Australian government announced reforms to ensure that Australia Post is able to continue to offer a quality and sustainable mail service to all Australians.
By that point, parcel delivery accounted for over half of the total revenue, so Australia Post was able to return to profit through re-structuring and increasing parcel and courier performance.
In October 2019, Australia Post underwent a complete rebranding project, which involved a new website, self-service platforms, new postboxes, new staff uniforms, and more.
Whilst the number of letters has been declining for several years, 2020 has seen a sharp increase in the number of parcels being delivered by Australia Post.
The coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions have led to a significant rise in online shopping, and as a result, some postage categories saw an increase in demand of 200% in April 2020 compared to April 2019.
Due to social distancing measures, Australia Post has also been required to reduce the number of workers at sorting facilities, further adding to the problem. However, they have been able to retrain motorbike posties to instead use vehicles to deliver parcels.
Australia Post Updates
Australia post is trying out its new generation postie bikes which can carry more and made to go in different Australian suburb terrains. A Melbourne manufacturer is behind Australia Post’s new generation of postie bikes designed to fit seven times the amount of parcels as online shopping booms.
Not many know this but Australian post website has online shop which offers free delivery. The sales made by this shop and the profits goes to the government who owns the Australia Post. As mentioned earlier, whilst it is the government who owns Australia Post, it is a self-funding business and receives no government or tax funding. These are the ways the Australia Post is able to fund itself. The best and unique thing is probably the collectables like stamps, silver Aussie coins
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