'Australia Ghost' letting locals down, says councillor
AUSTRALIA Post's decision to close the Springfield Post Office has met with dismay and outrage with Cr David Morrison and residents calling for the decision to be reversed.
The post office at Springfield Fair Shopping Centre will close in August with the post office and post office boxes relocated to a new post office at Orion Town Centre at Springfield Central.
Australia Post has told the QT it would look to "establish a postal presence within an existing business at Springfield Fair" but Cr Morrison said a watered down service was not acceptable and that the area deserved two fully fledge post offices with the Great Springfield population set to triple in the years ahead.
"I have asked Australia Post to keep both Springfield and Springfield Central post offices open for 18 months and then decide if the Springfield post office warrants closing," Cr Morrison said.
"The Springfield post office has currently 600 active PO Boxes with the potential of 700 to be used. Many small business and private residents in Camira and Springfield rely on them...and 86000 people have been given approval to call the Greater Springfield area home.
"We have been pushing for many years for a post office in Orion but not at the expense of the post office in Springfield which has become the sacrificial lamb. Australia Post is basically becoming 'Australia Ghost' and when you hear that the CEO is on incentives for efficiencies delivered it is easy to say you have delivered an efficiency."
Cr Morrison said in the council's last general meeting that he was disappointed the new post office at Orion was at the expense of the post office in Springfield Fair Shopping Centre.
"Every time I go past the post office at Springfield it is at least two or three deep at the counter and other times there are queues right outside the door," he said.
Cr Morrison quoted media reports that the Australia Post CEO was paid $4 million last financial year.
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale then interjected and said: "Is that based on how many sites he closes?"
Cr Morrison put the announcement of the relocation up on Facebook and said it had 22,000 views.
"One guy said '…it proves they haven't done much research' and another said 'I worked for Australia Post for 10 years and you will get nowhere. They don't care what the customer and community wants'.
Cr Pisasale then moved that council write to Australia Post to back Cr Morrison's stance.
An Australia Post spokesperson said that "due to feedback from the Springfield community the Springfield Post Office will be relocated to the Orion Town Centre".
"Australia Post has experienced a decline in customer numbers since the expansion of Orion Town Centre, so the move will help maintain the ongoing viability of the Springfield Post Office and ensure the community continues to have easy and convenient access to postal services in the local area," the spokesperson said.
"To ensure the community has ongoing access to postal services at the Springfield Fair Shopping Centre, we will look to establish a postal presence within an existing business at Springfield Fair.
Cr Morrison said keeping postal services going in "a chemist or a newsagency" was not sufficient.
"That is second best," he said.
"It's not a full blown post office where people can get all Australia Post services and there will be no post office boxes that the residents rely on."