House debates

Tuesday, 13 February 2024

Constituency Statements

Wills Electorate: Glenroy Post Office

4:15 pm

Photo of Peter KhalilPeter Khalil (Wills, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to address a matter of great concern to my constituents and my local community, and that's the closure of the Glenroy post office. Nearly six months ago, I stood before this very chamber and expressed my shock and dismay, and the shock and dismay felt by the people of Glenroy, at the decision made by Australia Post—without any consultation or transparency—to close the local post office. Since then, all the efforts to reverse the decision have been met with a degree of frustration and, frankly, disappointment.

The Glenroy post office is not just a place of business; it's a vital provider of essential services and support for those in our community. Its closure will have far-reaching consequences for the people of Glenroy, particularly for the elderly and disabled members of our community.

Despite repeated attempts to engage with Australia Post, our concerns have been dismissed and calls for reconsideration have fallen on deaf ears. I wrote in December to Ms Siobhan McKenna, the chair of Australia Post, and I outlined the concerns of my constituents regarding the closure of Glenroy post office; yet, to this day, I have not received a response.

The closure of the Glenroy post office is not merely a logistical inconvenience; it is a denial of basic rights and a betrayal of trust. It's a stark reminder of the systemic barriers faced by the most vulnerable members of our community, because Glenroy post office provided access for the elderly and those with disability. It had suitable disability access: it was in a flat location, with a wide entrance and a wheelchair access ramp. Many of the alternative locations which Australia Post has put forward do not meet these standards and do not meet the standards and guidelines outlined in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992, which was, of course, proudly passed under the Paul Keating Labor government. So, without urgent compliance with the act at these alternative sites, the closure of the Glenroy post office has discriminatory effects on the elderly and the disabled community in my electorate. Many of these alternative locations are also, frankly, inaccessible via public transport, which is needed by those community members.

Australia Post has also refused to grant a licence to an alternative provider, a newsagent in Glenroy, which is also a deeply disappointing decision because it was an alternative solution. I again publicly ask, as I asked in my letter, that Australia Post reconsider their refusal to grant a licence to the local Glenroy provider.

The decision to close Glenroy post office and the subsequent treatment of this issue by Australia Post is, frankly, deeply disappointing. So today I am also urging any colleagues—and this is a bipartisan thing—who have received any constituent concerns to reach out to me so that together we can send a clear message to Australia Post: the needs of our communities must not be ignored.