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Australia Post is a government-owned business, with the Australian Government as the only shareholder through the Minister for Communications and the Minister for Finance. Australia Post is governed under the Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989. Under this Act, Australia Post has the following general obligations:

  • to carry out the terms of its Community Service Obligations (CSO)
  • to perform its functions as far as possible consistent with sound commercial practice 
  • to perform its functions consistent with general policies of the Australian Government as well as comply with any directions issued by the Minister for Communications and Australia's obligations under international conventions.

The Australia Post Board and management are responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation and it receives no funding from the Government.

The Department advises the Australian Government on how the policy and legislative framework of the postal industry in Australia can best meet its social and economic objectives.

Reforming Australia Post

On 3 March 2015, the Minister for Communications, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull and the Minister for Finance, Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann, jointly announced reforms that will help Australia Post remain viable and continue to deliver a quality and sustainable mail service for all Australians. The reforms involve regulatory changes to enable Australia Post to introduce a two-speed letter service, comprising a Regular and Priority Service.

These reforms are in response to the serious financial challenge Australia Post is facing due to the significant decline in letters being sent by Australian businesses, governments and individuals and the increasing costs of delivering letters.

Policy background papers - Future challenges to Australia Post’s letters service:

The Australian Postal Market (June 2014) Policy Background Paper outlines the challenges faced by Australia Post in seeking to continue to supply a monopoly letter service, in the face of increased digital substitution, increasing fixed costs and declining mail volumes. It is the fourth occasional paper published by the department which explore regulatory arrangements in the communications portfolio.

The paper also serves as an introduction to the more detailed paper, Australian and International Postal Services Overview, developed by the Boston Consulting Group.

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