The LPO Agreement - What Can We Find?

Who might know what we need to know?

In 1992 - 1993 Australia Post and POAAL drafted and implemented the LPO agreement, and then entered into a consultative agreement to manage the LPO Agreement that dictates all things pertaining to life in an LPO. And Licensees have been kept in the dark about it ever since.

No Licensees that we are aware of have been provided with a copy of the consultative agreement. Apparently that is 'commercial in confidence'. Not for Licensees eyes? Incredible as that may sound. No Licensees that we are aware of have seen the workings for the payment scheme. How were the payments designed. Who worked them out? Who checked? Who approved? What was the basis of the business model? In light of the fact that Licensees are now being so exploited by Australia Post, and ignored by POAAL, these questions become very topical. The LPO Agreement needs a thorough review, but does it need to be thrown out, or does it need to be modernised? How would we know that if we have never seen the bones of the thing?

So LPOG is looking for the rule book, then we will all know what the rules really are, instead of being told 10 different versions depending on the day of the week, or the state of your relationship with Australia Post, or even the state your LPO is in. LPOG wants the rules on the table so we can all have a good look.

Were you around pre 1992 before the LPO Agreement was drafted? Do you know anyone who has a good knowledge, or any knowledge of the workings of the LPO Agreement?

Do you have any information on how the agreement was drafted? Any information on the actual intended rules and payments? Any idea who might know?

This Agreement is being abused by one party, ignored and neglected by another party, leaving the Licensees without any solid ground to stand on. This is not the way the Agreement was intended to be run. For years Australia Post had a Process and Procedures manager. This position was the adjudicator for all areas of dispute in regard to the LPO Agreement. There was a clear set of rules that was fairly administered for (dare we say it) mutual benefit for both sides. 

It is unclear just when this position was done away with, but suffice to say it was some time in the last 6 - 7 years, that we can point to. Now instead of an overview of issues open to dispute, Australia Post advises Licensees to contact their Network Managers. With the greatest respect, some of these people are very nice people, but not many of them have any idea of what the intention of any aspect of the LPO Agreement was designed to cover in 1992. Some of the Network Managers might not have even been born then. Regardless of any of that aspect, they toe the company line. They believe what they are told to believe. Several years ago in NSW, Network Managers were not aware that the Agreement allowed for a Licensee portion of the LPO premises. They stood in front of Licensees and denied facts that were printed in black and white. It was quite an eye opener for many NSW Licensees.

The lack of the Process and Procedure Manager has allowed the distortion and deflection of basic rights and obligations to become part of Australia Post's every day in dealing with Licensees and our LPOs. Licensees need to reclaim the ground lost. There were Process and Procedure managers in every state and we need to find some of the old guard. We need to roll them out and call the 'new bloods' to account. 

Unlike today, when reward on the corporate side is based on how much you can get out of paying  the LPOs, there was a time when corporate success depended on the overall success of the LPO network. So jog your memories. Do you remember any AP friendlies who actually wanted LPOs to thrive and were delighted when we did, because they were rewarded for our success? We want to talk to those guys, so round them up if you know them. Check your back room for any old documents that might shed some light where AP would prefer it never to shine. Lets see what we can find.



Wormies72's picture

I'll have a word in the previous owners ear. They owned my lpo from 1991 till 2008. They might remember something.

Col Burns's picture

I personally believe that the consultative agreement will prove to be a virtual pandoras box of revelations which will embarrass both AP and pooal and will pave the way for legal action for compensation from not only AP but also pooal for negligence and lack of duty of care. This will, i believe, be the reason that neither AP nor pooal want the document released.....If I'm right, just imagine the repucussions....even those LPOs who have been forced to close will be entitled to compensation not only for back income, but for pain and suffering and financial loss caused because they had to close. This could well prove to be HUGE. Again if I'm right, if it looks like we may be able to force them to release a copy....I'd lay pennies to pounds the shredders at AP and pooal will run hot and solicitors run off their feet transferring assets. Again...I may well be wrong...but until I'm proved wrong I reckon I'm right...!!!
Otherwise...AP and pooal..........PROVE ME WRONG and release the agreement if you have nothing to hide. YOU ARE HURTING ME and MORE IMPORTANTLY MY FAMILY each and every day you refuse to do so....!!!!!

aprilready's picture

I can understand an agreement is "commercial in confidence" to irrelevant parties, but this consultative agreement is so closely affecting LPOS' financially situation, we are the concerned party, it should be made available to a concerned party. Hope LPOG's solicitor will find the legal ground to make AP release this agreement.

disenchanted's picture

Have found some old Licensee bulletin cira 1993. Have sent a sample via email. Hope it helps.

Sandgroper's picture

Can't work it out
How can we be a party to an agreement that is controlled by a separate secretive agreement? Surely there must be a legal loophole in this somewhere? We are not members of this other "representative" party who know nothing about our individual business's, have never been here but say they represent us. They won't return calls or acknowledge registered letters so how can they say they represent us when they won't communicate with us? Wrong wrong wrong... but silly me, AP make their own rules and are above the law.

POAAL's rules of Association have a secretive clause - so doubt we will ever see this agreement. Our only hope is to have an external body (ACCC, laywers) obtain a copy (which would probably take legal action) or change our agreement to delete reference to this and POAAL stranglehold over us.

Biggles's picture

Has Fraud been committed?
Can we report this to the Police either State or Federal?

Dont be surprised if we have a full senate enquiry sooner rather than later however it doesnt solve the problem we are all faced with a shortfall financially before xmas.There is supposed to be an estimates hearing in November we need an increase in money now.Any ideas anyone?

Col Burns's picture

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....Not sure wot can be dun in the short term....But am hoping that LPOG will be submitting something to the November hearing on behalf of us all....surely the Senate must listen to hundreds of franchisees who are all of the same mind............

well, that request brought to light some hidden gems of knowledge.

seachangelpo's picture

Yes it certainly did. I didn't realise until recently that POAAL is apparently required to represent a majority of Licensees for the Agreement to be valid (in fact I was told at least 75% representation was needed - must check that figure with my source) wonder the document is so secretive. I'm a Licensee and POAAL certainly does not represent me.

Col Burns's picture

Don't be deterred guys....anything you can contribute (other than sarcasm) is important and may well prove to be helpfull.

Col Burns's picture

mmmmmmmmmmmm like to see "a show of hands" from LPOs who are asked the question "Does pooal represent you..?" If membership to the drongo club pooal is gained via the bait of cheap insurance then it is not a true representation of "membership" in my book. I don't know of any licensees who state with any conviction that pooal represent them....most just tell me they thought it was compulsory and that pooal have done nothing for them, let alone "represent" them.

New Life's picture

Hi Col and Seachange I can guarantee you that most LPOG members are NOT members of POAAL. I am sure they can at least count on their fingers how many members thay have left?

LPOGroup's picture

Well done everyone, we hit paydirt. Keep fossicking because the more we have to use the better our outcome.

More information in the members area.

Sandgroper's picture

Contractors working from our LPO told me this morning they thought it was compulsory to be members of POAAL. I advised them otherwise. One already has insurances for another business which would cover their mail delivery, but has been doubling insurance as they were told insurance through POAAL was compulsory by the previous contractor from 5 years ago. Wonder how many others are in this boat? I suggest all LPO's that house contractors discuss this with them. POAAL would never advise them otherwise.