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Australia Post Responds to Price Hike as Publishers Contemplate ACCC Intervention

16 Jun 2009

Heavyweight B2B and B2C publishers have followed Publishers Australia in their call for revision of the Australia Post shock announcement of price increases for those who utilise Parcels and Print Post services.


This morning Publishing Edge spoke to leading publishers who are calling for group representation to address what is considered an unfair rate hike in this recessive market. A spokesperson informed Publishing Edge that talk has centred around an approach to the ACCC, the Ombudsman and the Federal Minister for Communications in an attempt to withdraw, review and/or defer the increases which come in to effect on 6th July 2009.


Publishing Edge has secured the letter from David Docherty, director of D&D Mailing Services who wrote to Australia Post on behalf of his company and his customers, many owning well known business and consumer magazine titles. In summary the demands revolve around two major areas.


1. Withdraw and/or review of the increases.

 2. Deferment of the proposed increases.


To download the letter and comments from publishers click here. The letter was directed to Allan Robinson, group manager letters, for Australia Post.


Publishing Edge spoke with Jo Willoughby, spokesperson for Australia Post, this morning who responded with a prepared statement as follows:-


"Since issuing formal notification to publishers and their agents of the increases to Print Post pricing which comes into effect from 6th July 2009, Australia Post has been involved in discussions with publishers and peak bodies such as Publishers Australia in order to receive feedback from the industry and provide the industry with insights into the cost pressures Australia Post has encountered with this product."


"Whilst understanding the sentiment being expressed by individual publishers and indeed collectively through the voice of Publishers Australia, Australia Post has also been hit with real cost pressures associated with the current economic climate. Australia Post empathises with the sentiment of the industry and as such, when considering the price increases for Print Post, Australia Post has shown restraint by not passing on the full impact of direct cost pressures it has realised."


"Australia Post is committed to stimulating and growing the publishing industry and currently has various programs in development to create further value to the Print Post product and the broader publishing industry."


Postal increases have constantly been the bain of Publishers Australia and their members and their lobby with Australia Post. Last Friday, Publishers Australia executives met with a senior executive of Australia Post reinforcing the views of members particularly in this savage economic environment. Publishers Australia executive director, Alan Sarkissian told Publishing Edge that dialogue was spirited and their message was now being reviewed by Australia Post with an answer imminent, however, in light of the above statement it appears Australia Post are committed to the rise. With many publishers reviewing print runs and, in the majority of cases, reducing them to save costs the ramifications of this rise will affect, amongst others, printers, mailing houses and Australia Post themselves. Digital publishing will no doubt be a major beneficiary.


To download the D&D letter and associated comments from publishers click here.



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