Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Regional and Rural Development, Peter Ryan. It is in relation to Australia Post’s plan to cut costs by cutting services and jobs in rural and regional Victoria. As the minister will be aware, there have been a number of articles in local newspapers, including the Geelong Independent and the Geelong Advertiser, which detail possible job losses and a reduction in Australia Post services in the region. Australia Post has admitted that it is considering centralising processing functions in country areas, which may mean that Geelong mail is sorted outside the city, in Dandenong.
The Communication Workers Union has stated that in Geelong alone 40 jobs would be under threat if Australia Post pushed ahead with its proposed changes.
At a time when the community of Geelong is coming to terms with the Ford factory closure and the subsequent job losses, the Target job losses and the uncertainty around Alcoa and Shell, the prospect of further job losses in the region is not welcome news, to say the least, not to mention those working at Australia Post who are now wondering how long their jobs might exist. The union’s state secretary, Joan Doyle, has also indicated that the next-day delivery would be compromised by cost-cutting measures.
The drop in services and the cost-cutting measures would be exacerbated particularly in those parts of the region that have high population growth, being Torquay and Bannockburn, and of course Armstrong Creek is coming online. Now is not the time to cut services; it is time to expand them.
The action I seek is for the minister to provide me with an explanation to demonstrate what action he has taken so far to lobby the federal Minister for Communications to ensure that these and other postal jobs and the postal service in my electorate of Western Victoria Region are not lost or compromised.