The unexpected impact of Australia’s stamp price-hike

As of last Monday January 4, the price of sending a letter within Australia has jumped from 70c to $1.

While I ponder what to do with the stash of 70c stamps I have tucked away in my wallet (I guess AusPost sell 30c stamps?), I’ve also been thinking about how this will affect me.

Realistically, I don’t post mail very often.


The last letter I sent through ‘snail mail’ was a note a friend’s mum. Her daughter suddenly passed away this year and in the lead-up to Christmas, I wanted to let her know I was thinking of her.

It was, obviously, the kind of communication that deserved to be hand-written, not dashed out on email or text.

Would I pay $1 to send such a communication again in the future? No doubt. Vis-à-vis, Australia Post’s price hike won’t impact me much – or many ordinary Gold Coasters, I suspect.

What does have the potential to cause some friction for us on the Coast is the new service timelines… And I have a feeling that headlines about the 30c price increase will overshadow the real issue.

You see, as of today, delivery timetables are also slowing down. You should now allow two extra business days for delivery of everyday mail, unless you pay an additional 50c (a total of $1.50); this buys you an ‘express’ service, which promises delivery within one to four business days, depending on destination.

This is where I can foresee some real problems.

As Gold Coasters, we receive letters from a number of government departments and corporate head offices based out of Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

Centrelink notices, utility bills, credit card statements – these form the bulk of the letters that clutter our mailboxes.

Quite often, these notices require a response within 14 days. But if the letter takes up to 6 business days to reach us in the first place, this leaves us with a very small window of time to reply.

Of course, they could opt to use the express postal service. But I can’t see the bean-counters at the Tax Office or within Corporate Australia agreeing to pay $1.50 per letter when doing a mass mailout – can you?

Hopefully they’ll allow some reply leeway for customers based up here in the Sunshine State. Otherwise, Australia Post’s new rate and service policies may have a much bigger impact on us than we first thought.