Statement attributable to Australia Post Chair Lucio Di Bartolomeo

Australia Post Chair Lucio Di Bartolomeo issued a statement on Wednesday 26 May 2021 in relation to final report of the Senate Inquiry published on the same day.

The following comments may be attributed to Australia Post Chair Lucio Di Bartolomeo:

Australia Post recognises the importance of the Senate Inquiry and acknowledges the final report published today.

For the past three months, the Australia Post Board, and Leadership Team, have treated the Inquiry seriously, and cooperated fully and extensively with the Committee.

In the seven months since last year’s Senate Estimates hearing, Australia Post has implemented considerable reforms, updating and simplifying relevant governance arrangements, policies, processes and internal control systems.

Australia Post is a stronger, more aware and better business for these changes.

While the organisation is continually reviewing how it can best meet the rapidly changing needs of its customers and the demands on its services, the Board is committed to investing in the business and employees to build a sustainable Australia Post.

We are under no illusion about the serious challenges Australia Post faces today, particularly as the economy starts to emerge from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this tough operating environment, it is important for Australia Post to focus on the future and consider how we can best serve our customers.

I want to pay tribute to Australia Post’s experienced executive team and 75,000-strong extended workforce for their dedication, focus and commitment during a demanding period for the organisation. I am proud of the team and am personally committed to continuing to lead Australia Post as we confront the structural decline of the letters business and an increasingly competitive environment across our operations. We have real challenges and are focused on positioning Australia Post for the future.

The temporary regulatory relief measures provided by government to assist Australia Post support our customers and the community during the pandemic are due to expire on 30 June 2021 and Australia Post continues to work incredibly hard to increase the reliability and speed of all our delivery services. As we are seeing with current events in Victoria, COVID-19 is not over and the post-COVID new normal is not yet known.

What we do know is that there has been an accelerated decline in letters and a significant growth in parcels. As outlined during the Inquiry, a return to the pre-COVID operating model is not sustainable.  As Australia Post works to frame a way forward, we are committed to a constructive and cooperative approach with our people, union representatives, licensees, communities, customers and other stakeholders.

Australia Post is a well-run business, one of the best performing postal organisations in the world. With a Board strategy to invest to grow the business, we are well placed to add new government and financial services for our customers, maintain our network of community-based Post Offices and deliver for Australia and all Australians.

Given the intense public scrutiny, it was important during the Inquiry process for Australia Post to provide its perspective on the resignation of the former CEO Christine Holgate, particularly given her significant contribution to the business. Ms Holgate was a very good chief executive for Australia Post and the organisation wishes her well for the future. Australia Post remains engaged in a mediation process with Ms Holgate around the circumstances of her departure from the organisation.

With new CEO Paul Graham joining in coming months, Australia Post remains optimistic about its future and will continue working to improve capacity and reliability to better serve its customers. 

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