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Publishers Hit with Australia Post Price Rise

10 Jun 2009

The news of Australia Posts postage increases in these tough economic times has angered publishers. Certain publishers, along with industry body Publishers Australia, have been lobbying for some time to reduce postage costs and are shocked that they would be given only one month's notice, with the changes coming in to effect on the 6th of July, two months earlier than the review period.

Because of the monopoly Australia Post has in this market it leaves publishers with few options and may result in many forced in to the position of having to reduce circulation or frequency of their publications. Not only would this have an effect on the publishers but also on the mailing houses that depend on the publishers to keep their businesses alive.

David Docherty, Director of D&D Mailing, has spoken out in a letter sent to Australia Post and circulated to their clients. As reported in The Australian, Docherty will be meeting with representatives of Australia Post and he states, "We want to have the price rise withdrawn, have it reduced, or at least have it deferred to give a couple of months up our sleeve to a) adjust our budgets and b) give Australia more time to recover from the crisis."

In his letter Docherty reports that the increase is 3.9 per cent for parcels, 3.6 per cent for PrintPost and a further increase to Line Haul rates of 3.1 per cent which ultimately increases PrintPost to a weighted average increase of 4.6 per cent in most cases.

Alex Twomey, of Australia Post has leapt to their defence stating that "We think this is a reasonably priced, competitive product, and staying in line with CPI is a reasonable position to have." He goes on to say that "Australia Post has brought forward the usual date of its price changes from September to be in line with the financial year."

This provides no comfort to publishers who have not budgeted for this price rise.

The Newsagents have weighed in on this argument with comments on the Australian Newsagency Blog saying the price rise is an opportunity for publishers and newsagents to work more closely together with suggestions of a new type of subscription system. This would involve the customers picking up their copies from a local newsagent providing an opportunity to lock in traffic and sell a year of copies upfront at a lower rate.

With electronic publishing showing significant signs of growth, many publishers could resort to this method now that the Audit Bureau of Circulations are measuring this process as part of the overall distribution of a title.



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