House debates

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Statements by Members

Tasmania: Australia Post

1:39 pm

Photo of Brian MitchellBrian Mitchell (Lyons, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

How many times are Tasmanians going to have to come into this place and remind the government that our state is part of this country? The decision by Australia Post to end the freight of perishable goods from Tasmania could cripple Tasmanian producers who rely on 24-hour freight express services. Since COVID, producers like Ashgrove Cheese, in my electorate, rely more than ever on getting their dairy products to the mainland. The reason Australia Post gives for ending its StarTrack service is 'significant regulatory requirements differing across states and territories'. What a joke! The service has been operating for decades, but now, apparently, it's all too hard.

This is the latest in a long list of failures from Australia Post under this government and its hopeless minister. Costs have soared, delivery times have blown out and service has plummeted. Now Australia Post wants to cut Tasmanian freight off at the knees. A panicked reprieve is keeping the service going until 30 June, but that's not good enough. We need a permanent solution and a massive cultural change which stops relegating Tasmania to an afterthought. If the Prime Minister can get mad about Cartier watches, he can get mad about this. We don't need more photo ops of him in Tassie; we need him turning up to work. Australia Post does not have an asterisk on it saying 'except Tasmania'. Tasmania is not an optional extra. The government needs to fix this mess and fix it now.