Yesterday (Monday, January 4) marked the introduction of Australia Post’s new two-speed letter deliveries.
The basic postage rate (BPR) has increased from 70 cents to $1 – now called the Regular letter service – while customers will need to slap on a 50 cent label to send an item Priority mail, taking the total to $1.50.
Australia Post has pledged to deliver Priority letters within one to four business days (depending on the destination), while Regular mail could now arrive up to two business days afterwards, potentially taking more than one week to reach the recipient’s letterbox.
Express post, which guarantees next day delivery and requires a pre-paid envelope, will remain at $5.75.
Australia Post has defended the price hike, saying the increase to the basic postage rate is only the fifth in 23 years, “at $1, the BPR will remain one of the lowest in the developed world”, the company countered.
Australia Post has also pointed out that around 5.7 million Australians, including pensioners and the unemployed, will keep their access to the 60 cent concession stamp price and Christmas cards will still cost 65 cents to post.
Those entitled to concessions will also be able to send Priority mail for $1.10.
Australia Post said that concession and seasonal greeting mail accounted for almost half of all mail sent annually by its customers.
The company said it was increasing basic postage and taking up to two days longer to deliver Regular mail because:
“The way Australians communicate is changing. With the shift to digital communications, you’re not sending as many letters as you used to, so we’re changing too,” said the company’s website.
“It’s about making sure we have a sustainable Post Office network and letters service, so we can continue to grow in the areas you need us most – like delivering parcels and trusted services.”
Priority labels can be bought from Australia Post’s online shop or from a post office. The label should be placed next to the stamp. Business customers have been using this service since June 2014.
You can find out more about the changes here.