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State government reverses Stage 4 rule that would have forced hundreds of post offices to close

The state government has reversed a Stage 4 rule which almost forced hundreds of Melbourne post offices to close.

The Stage 4 COVID-19 rules for businesses were updated on the Business Victoria website on Thursday, and there was a big problem for Australia Post.

The previous guidelines stated that post offices could continue trading as usual.

But, under the rule change they were told they must operate with just two thirds of staff.

Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate said it would mean one-in-three post offices in Melbourne would have to close from Saturday.

Australia Post had contacted the state government, but had not received any clarification.

Ms Holgate spoke to Neil Mitchell and received a response from the state government within half an hour.

“Thank you Neil, you’ve got some super powers!,” she said.

“We got confirmation that post offices can stay open and we’re exempt from those restrictions!”

Unfortunately, another COVID-19 restriction still looks set to cause postal delays.

Only two thirds of postal delivery staff across the state may work.

In the 12 Melbourne hot spots which were shut down before widespread restrictions returned, postal deliveries surged by 209 per cent compared to the previous year.

Parcel demand grew by 20 per cent this week, as retailers were forced to close.

Ms Holgate says it means deliveries are “heading for bottlenecks”.

Australia Post has also asked for an exemption for delivery staff, but has not yet received a reply from the state government.

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