Home' The Channel Magazine : September 2009 Contents 8 National Newsagent September 2009
Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has
warned Victorian retail outlets will need
to make costly adjustments to their store
configuration and operating procedures to
comply with a proposed retail display ban
on cigarette packets.
ARA Executive Director Russell
Zimmerman said the proposed retail
display ban on tobacco products could cost
Victoria’s small retailers $182 million in
the first year.
“Under the proposed regulations, store
owners can be fined or banned from selling
tobacco products if cigarette packets are
within the view of customers, which will
result in a complete refit of current displays,
as well as ongoing training, customer
service and restocking issues.
“While retailers fully appreciate the health
dangers associated with smoking, the
financial impact of these regulations is not
a public health issue. The ARA’s concern is
about an increased cost to retailers when
they can least afford it,” Zimmerman said.
FINED FOR BREACHING
The owner of 26 Coles Express stores
which illegally tried to ‘upsell’ cigarettes to
customers has been ordered to pay more
than $150,000 in fines and court costs for
breaking anti-tobacco laws.
NSW Supreme Court Justice Bruce James
ordered the company to pay $107,000 in
fines and a further $50,000 in court costs.
Australia Post has lodged a draft
notification with the Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission
(ACCC) proposing to increase the basic
postage rate by five cents, effective
from early 2010.
The ACCC will assess the proposed
change and invite public submissions
before finalising its decision about the
increase. Group Manager, Letters Allan
Robinson, said the decision had not been
taken lightly. “While we understand no-
one likes a price rise, our history shows
we only seek an increase to continue
providing equitable access to basic letter
services for all Australians — no matter
where they live.
“Our record on productivity savings
is impressive and we have passed the
benefits on to postal consumers. If the
basic postage rate had kept pace with
inflation over the last two decades, the
price of the 55 cent stamp would actually
now be 70 cents,” he explained.
Mr Robinson said that rapid growth in
areas like western Sydney, south-east
Melbourne, south east Queensland and
parts of Western Australia will add 2.5
million new delivery points over the next
The proposed increase would only be
the third in 18 years, well below any other
essential service in Australia, with utilities
by comparison increasing by over 33
percent since 2003 alone. Revenue from
the increase will help cover escalating
costs associated with servicing the
expanding network, such as transport
“Maintaining our system is important
for all Australians with over 4400 outlets
making us the largest retail network in
Australia. We’re proud that more than
2500 of these outlets are in rural and
remote areas and are often the hub of
local communities,” said Mr Robinson.
Australians have access to one of
the most affordable and reliable letter
services in the world. Australia’s
basic postage rate would still be the
third lowest in the OECD following the
proposed increase. In the UK and many
European countries it costs an equivalent
of more than $1 for a similar service.
Australia Post is the oldest continually
operating organisation in Australia. Every
day Australia Post delivers 21 million
items to 10.5 million addresses across
Australia. We are a self-funding business
and receive no taxpayer funding.
PuBLISHERS AuSTRALIA LOBBIES
AGAINST POSTAGE INCREASE
Executive Director of Publishers
Australia, Alan Sarkissian and Chairman,
Geoff Hird met with the Group Manager,
Letters at Australia Post, Allan Robinson
to lobby against the increase.
“We have two main goals for this
meeting, with business growth being
the key one” Hird stated, adding, “We
want Australia Post to understand that
working with Publishers Australia and
our magazine publisher members will not
only help our members grow, but in turn
work towards growing their print post
With the shift to digital delivery
platforms, most publishers had already
been forced to cut print volumes, and the
latest Australia Post price hikes have only
served to fast track this trend — not an
ideal situation for Australia Post or many
The latest price hikes, coming in this
tough economic climate, are already
impacting small to large publishers
alike, with several Publishers Australia
members stating job cuts may well
follow as a result.
AGCA quESTIONS PRICE RISE
The President of the Australian Greeting
Cards Association (AGCA), Tom
Stevenson questions why Australia
Post would increase postage just before
Christmas at a time when unemployment
will most likely be over 6%.
The AGCA approached Australia Post
regarding their intended increase in
price to the base letter rate of five cents,
requesting that consideration be given to
providing some relief for greeting cards.
He said that although Australia Post may
be suffering declining revenues due to
other social networking communications
he suggests that it could fund the
declining letter delivery out of the
increased revenue from parcel delivery
for products purchased over the internet.
AUSTRALIA POST SEEKS INCREASE
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