Engaging Barnaby Joyce to Champion Our Voice
LPOG Executive members met with Barnaby Joyce today and put forward our concerns in regard to recent events that saw the PM put the Community Licensed Post Office network back 10 years. For decades the financial outcomes for Licensees have not been on the agenda for either Australia Post, or the Government of the day. In 2012, the Community LPO network was facing mass insolvency and it was the Nationals and Independent Senators who recognised we had a very serious viability problem and we were close to extinct.
It has been a long hard road from 2012 to where we were in late October 2020, when the PM decided to trash our future and throw our hard won gains under the bus with the CEO. Executives of LPOG have also met with the Minister for Communications, Paul Fletcher, who assured us the new CEO will be just like Christine, will do just what Christine has done, will focus exactly on what Christine was focused on, and will continue to walk in her footsteps. We will just have to start again and rebuild the same relation with the Christine clone. The Minister's vision of the future is so unlikely you would be forgiven if you thought we were all in LALA land. So the question we put to Barnaby Joyce is why do we need a new CEO when we already have the best one we have ever had, who is doing an exceptional job, and should be reinstated under a new and supportive Board that is also prepared to champion the business instead of slashing and reducing as planned.
Position papers and statement have been prepared to put forward our concerns and our needs in the future, if there is to be a future for Australia's postal service. It would appear that reducing services, cutting jobs and selling off the parcel side of the business is high on the Government and Board's agenda. That will be the end of the community Licensed Post Office network, and we will be back where we were expected to subsidise the outlet by purchasing an inconjunction business to prop up the PO (if there is anything left over for us in the calve up). Anyone who has been down that path knows it doesn't work. Anyone who has a busy stand alone PO knows they are far too busy to be looking for more work to fund the busy PO. All of us know we are running a PO, why should we not receive fair remuneration for doing that. Especially as that was where Christine Holgate was leading us on her plan. For the last 2-3 years, many of us have felt the lifting of the financial stress caused by underpayments we have been under for 20 - 30 years. Christine Holgate has been cleaning up our pain points, and 4 cartier watches for the injection of $220M into our pockets over 5 years from Bank@POst was well deserved. They could have got 40 watches and it was still a modest reward for the change that made to our financial outcomes. Next was payment reform, then parcel and lodgement payments, then LBP, and her plans were moving us all out of our underpayment pains.
So we have asked Barnaby Joyce to assist us to protect our position as the most heavily invested stakeholders in this business and seek reinstatement of the CEO and a return to the path Christine Holgate has for a viable network of community Licensed Post Offices to serve the nation.
Barnaby has asked us to notify him of LPOs that are situated in National seats so he can enlist his colleagues to help us in our campaign.