A Message from the Chairman of LPOG

During these very trying times I believe it’s important to remind Licensees of the need to keep a level head. While it is easy to become overawed by the Covid-19, and the effects it is having on our communities, our communities will be looking to us to show leadership and provide direction.

I have heard calls by many licensees for increases in the representation allowance during these times, I have heard calls for closures of Post Offices by some licensees. On increased payments, all I can offer is that the Government, and Australia Post, are completely focused on keeping the country safe, and the business as a whole, afloat and operational. To be brutally honest, that is the way it should be. I don’t want management of Australia Post focused on anything other than keeping us and the staff safe, and the business afloat. Increases in payments can, and will, come later when we have survived Covid-19. On closures, be thankful you bought a Post Office, and not a Gloria Jeans, or a Donut King. Ask your local Pub or Café if they are happy to close?

I know what the answer is without even having to ask, my local coffee shop is devastated that they are forced to close. I have also heard calls for a cashless post Offices. Given that we are handling thousands of carded Items, red and blue awaiting collection cards, customers’ bills and the parcels they are sending, which all potentially pose the same risk to us as handling cash, the call to avoid cash in the PO is not constructive. I can’t speak for all LPOs, but we have seen a big decrease in Passport application which generates about 10% of my POMS, banking is a further 10%, 30% of my bill payment is also cash. I can’t afford to lose my banking customers and 30% of my bill pay customers, all of who chose to transact using cash. The other point I will make is If we pressure customers to use card only for our transactions, our banking and bill pay will continue to decline and will soon be gone forever.

Remember, we are an essential service, and for that we should be very thankful. We will, wherever possible, remain operational, and for that I am also thankful. I am also very glad I purchased my Post Office and not a coffee shop or a café, or even a pub.

Keep Safe. Wash your hands. Clean your counters. Clean your pin pads. Clean your doors and anywhere else customers touch. Keep a safe distance when talking to customers. Step back from the counter to increase your distance. Make sure you follow all the advice from Australia Post and the Government agencies that are being published.

PLEASE don’t get your advice from Facebook or Twitter Keep a clear Level Head. This is our time to shine the light and show our communities how important we are by supporting our communities when they most need this face to face support.

Andrew Hirst

Chair LPOG