Australia Post is seeking to charge customers extra to deliver letters within a designated time, such as the next day.
The government-owned corporation money struggles have been well documented, and AusPost says its losses in its letter business could well overwhelm the entire company if changes aren’t made.
A tiered postal system is being considered, which would involve customers paying a premium based on the delivery time.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the government is yet to approve the changes, but is reviewing the request.
“It’s under consideration,” Mr Turnbull told the Nine Network on Friday. The $3 which AusPost must earn for each parcel delivery to offset the decline in its letter business is a difficult target to meet.
“The profits are swamped by the losses in the letter business,” Mr Turnbull said, adding the only option was to cut costs.
The proposed changes came as Australia Post reported a 34.5 per cent slide in full year profit to $116.2 million.
Deputy Opposition leader Tanya Plibersek appealed to the government not to forget about people in regional and rural Australia when making a decision. “We’ve got to keep in our minds that it’s a big country and we’ve got a lot of people who live in remote areas,” she said. “We don’t want to do anything that cuts them off.”