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Australia Post is the trading name of the Australian Government-owned Australian Postal Corporation (formerly the Australian Postal Commission), the postal service with a monopoly in Australia.


The first Postmaster of New South Wales was an ex-convict, Isaac Nichols, who took the post in 1809 operating from his home in George Street, Sydney. His main job was to take charge of letters and parcels arriving by ship, to avoid the chaos of people rushing onto the ships as soon as they arrived at Sydney's wharves.

The Postal Act of 1825 allowed the governor to fix postage rates and appoint Postmasters outside Sydney, enabling the first organized postal service..

Postal services grew throughout the Australian colonies as they were established.

A regular Sydney-Melbourne overland service began in 1838, as did embossed covers (the world's first) prepaid postage , and by 1849 uniform postal rates were established by agreement between the colonies. Monthly steamship sea mail to the United Kingdom was established in 1856. The separate colonies joined the Universal Postal Unionmarker in 1891.

In 1901, the colonial mail systems were merged into the Postmaster General's Department (or PMG). This body was responsible for telegraph and domestic telephone operations as well as postal mail. The world's first large-scale mechanical mail sorting system was introduced in Australia (according to Australia Post), and operational in the Sydney GPOmarker in 1967. This coincided with the introduction of the current system of 4-digit Postcodes in Australia.

On July 1, 1975, separate government commissions were created to undertake the operational responsibilities of the PMG. One of these was the Australian Postal Commission, trading as Australia Post. It later changed its name to the Australian Postal Corporation on January 1, 1989 when it was corporatised, although it still trades as Australia Post.

Current activities

Express (yellow) and normal (red) street posting boxes
Over the last 15 years, Australia Post has broadened its product and service range and invested in major technology-based infrastructure programs. Today, it operates in three core areas: letters, retail and agency services, and parcels and logistics. It offers delivery services, retail products, financial services (such as bill payment and banking through its retail network), logistics and fulfilment services, and direct marketing and database management services. It also has a number of subsidiaries and joint ventures, including Sai Cheng Logistics International – a joint-venture logistics company established with China Post.

Australia Post remains a government business enterprise. It is self-funding and uses its assets and resources to earn profits, which can be reinvested in the business or returned as dividends to its shareholder, the Commonwealth Government. Under its community service obligations, Australia Post is committed to providing an accessible, affordable and reliable letter service for all Australians wherever they reside. The corporation reaches more than 10 million Australian addresses; operates 4,462 postal outlets; and serves more than a million customers in postal outlets every business day.

Under the Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989, letters up to 250 grams are reserved to Australia Post – other people and businesses can only carry them if they charge four times the basic postage rate. All of the other goods and services provided by Australia Post are sold in fully competitive markets and, in 2005–06, nearly 90 per cent of the corporation’s profit (from ordinary activities before net interest and tax) came from selling products and services in competitive markets.

Board Members

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee (EC) of Australia Post consists of the following people:


Empty cells have no data available for that year. All results at 30 June.

Year Full-time staff Part-time staff Other staff Source
1993 31934 3999 Annual Report
1994 31130 4204 5626 Annual Report
1995 31621 4501 5253 Annual Report
1996 32040 5689 7849 Annual Report
1997 31111 6185 8466 Annual Report
1998 29564 6961 9151 Annual Report
1999 28205 6756 9776 Annual Report
2000 26915 8482 9455 Annual Report
2001 27079 8458 9660 Annual Report
2002 26950 8812 9703 Annual Report
2003 26394 9033 9557 Annual Report
2004 26019 9030 9559 Annual Report
2005 25851 8953 9570 Annual Report
2006 25387 9196 6415 Annual Report
2007 25026 9498 6247 Annual Report
2008 25093 9936 Annual Report

Australia Post Facts

Nationwide there are 7,950 postal routes serviced by 10,000 "posties". Motorcycles are used for delivery for around 6,600 routes, bicycles for 350 routes and walking for 1,000 routes. Cars are only used for the very longest routes. Until the 1960s the longest, and the world's longest, overland mail route was Meekatharra to Marble Barmarker. As there were few roads a round trip took seven days. The current longest overland route is Norsemanmarker in Western Australia to Border Village in South Australiamarker: . The longest air service delivers to remote communities in the outback covering over two days.

The most isolated postbox is located on a dive platform on the Great Barrier Reefmarker.

The most isolated Post Office is located from Onslowmarker in Western Australiamarker, from the nearest customer.

From the 2005-06 Annual Report:
  • Handled 5.42 billion mail items.
  • Revenue of $4.53 billion.
  • Profit (before tax) of $515.6 million.
  • Delivered 94.9% of letters on time or early.
  • Just over half of Australia Post's revenue comes from delivering letters, the rest comes from other activities.
  • Processed 194 million agency-based bill payment transactions, 30 million banking transactions and over 1 million passport applications.
  • Australia Post has over 4,462 outlets.
  • Australia Post has over 15,436 street posting boxes
  • Australia Post has over 34,800 employees.
  • Australia Post owns 50% of Australian air Express and Star Track Express with the remainder of both companies held by Qantas.
  • All undelivered items go to the mail redistribution centres, which attempts to return the items to their sender.

Postal services

Postage rate

Basic domestic

The basic postage rate for a small letter has increased over the years due to inflation but influenced in recent years by a complex interplay between Australia Post's monopoly over small items, and need to provide service to all Australian addresses at the mandated basic rate.

In July 2009, Australia Post requested the ACCC to approve a stamp price rise in 2010 to 60 cents.This has stirred controversy over the fact that Australia Post is generating record profit levels at present, making the proposed stamp price increase unnecessary in many people's eyes.

  • 4¢ - 1966 Introduction of decimal currency
  • 5¢ - 1967
  • 6¢ - 1970
  • 7¢ - 1971
  • 10¢ - 1974
  • 18¢ - 1975
  • 20¢ - 1976
  • 22¢ - 1980
  • 24¢ - 1981
  • 27¢ - 1982
  • 30¢ - 1983
  • 33¢ - 1985
  • 36¢ - 1986
  • 37¢ - 1987
  • 39¢ - 1988
  • 41¢ - 1989
  • 43¢ - 1990
  • 45¢ - 1992
  • 50¢ - 2003
  • 55¢ - 2008

International postage pricing

The company has issued numbers of guidelines and pricing documents and these can be found at the company's website .

Bulk mail pricing

This is one of the business solutions which can also be found at the company's website .

See also

Notes & References

External links

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