MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
SMALL BUSINESSES EXPORTING LIGHT MERCHANDISE DESERVE A BETTER DEAL FROM AUSTRALIA POST
Changes by Australia Post have increased postage costs by up to 700 per cent for small businesses exporting light merchandise globally.
As reported yesterday, this change is affecting the viability of affected small businesses that export nano-products abroad, resulting in income and job losses.
Prior to COVID-19, exporting nano-products to the United States and Europe would cost around $3.50.
Affected small businesses say the cost has now increased to $21 for the US, and between $31 to $35 in Europe – a devastating increase.
Labor understands these product changes were introduced in response to international regulatory requirements to transmit customs data electronically.
This led Australia Post to require these businesses to use a parcel product typically used to carry heavier merchandise at far greater expense.
Notwithstanding the regulatory changes, it remains unclear why customs data could not be transmitted electronically under a more bespoke and affordable product.
A seven-fold increase in postage costs is not one that these business models can absorb.
Labor has previously written to the Minister to see whether a more graduated price increase is possible and is yet to receive a response.
The Minister has also ignored media inquiries on the matter.
Whether it is independent producers of perishable goods, or nano-business exporting light merchandise, Labor will continue to stand up for small businesses.
Australia needs a Government that advocates on behalf of small business – not one that hides whenever the going gets tough.
FRIDAY, 23 JULY 2021