It also found that for every worker Australia Post employed, another job was secured in the community. With Australia Post directly employing the equivalent of 26,500 full time staff, this meant a total of more than 51,000 full time jobs were supported by Australia Post’s operations last year.
In local communities, the employment ratio was higher, with every post office job supporting a further two jobs elsewhere through flow-on economic activity, such as motor mechanics, property managers and information technology jobs.
The report found that 92 per cent of Australians visited a post office in the previous six months and highlights the tremendous social value they place on the postal service, with 79 per cent saying Australia Post ensured equity of access to core services for all communities. Seventy-three per cent rated Australia Post a trusted and valued part of the community.
Australia Post’s Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Christine Holgate welcomed the Deloitte Access Economics report’s findings, saying post offices are well placed to help provide a range of vital community services on behalf of organisations, such as the government and banks, and to help local businesses grow.
“For example, there are now about 1,500 communities in Australia without a bank branch, and many more without access to government agencies, where Australia Post provides access to [email protected] and other essential services including drivers licence renewal and passport applications,” Ms Holgate said.
Australia Post currently provides community-wide access to services on behalf of more than 750 businesses and government agencies.
“This report underlines the fundamental role Australia Post plays in communities across Australia. If these communities are to prosper, we need to continue to connect them to the rest of the country and the world, and ensure they have access to essential services that in many cases only Australia Post delivers,” she said.
“Almost 60 per cent of our network of more than 4,300 post offices are located in regional and remote communities. This is double other critical service industries such as electricity, gas, water and waste and almost treble others including health, finance, education and training.
“With 45 per cent of Australia’s economic output generated in regional and rural areas, as well as an ageing population and infrastructure pressures in our cities, protecting and building our role is important to this country’s future.”
According to John O’Mahony, Partner at Deloitte Access Economics and an author of the report: “Contrary to perceptions of a declining value in the digital age, our report finds that Australia Post is supporting our transition to the economy of the future, by facilitating eCommerce, exports of small and medium-sized businesses, electronic payments, and digital identity solutions.”
Australia Post was found to be particularly important for the one million households that did not have internet access, and for Australians in regional and remote areas, which were very likely to rely on post office services.
“Post offices are used by Australians for a large range of delivery, financial and other services, and consumers place significant value on these services. Consumer value exceeded the price paid for services by more than $2 billion last year,” Mr O’Mahony said
Australia Post will release its full year financial results next week.