Australia Post has given the post office in Tower Central a six-month reprieve following strong reaction from customers, especially business customers who don’t want to go across the river to Riverlink to collect/post mail items.
Ipswich’s Australia Post post office in Tower Central complex in Brisbane Street was set to close on September 15. Australia Post cite a lack of customers, as well as the outlet being deemed as not essential – mainly due to the closeness of other Australia Post outlets at Brassall, Booval, One Mile and Riverlink – as reasons for the shut down.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Australia Post says that there will be no job losses and staff will be relocated to other places and positions.
There have been no details released about what will occupy the space next, or if it is even on the market.
The post office was originally situated in the iconic Ipswich Town Hall Clock Tower in 1902, and remained there until moving to its current location near Tower Central café. The Clock Tower has remained empty since the move.
State Member for Ipswich, Jennifer Howard is concerned about the closure, believing it be a step backwards in the face of the CBD development and a slap in the face to Ipswich small business.
“I’m absolutely appalled at Australia Post’s decision to close its Ipswich office,” Ms Howard said.
“I talk to small business owners in our struggling CBD regularly and they’re doing it tough, very tough, but their commitment to this city is paramount. This attitude stands in stark contrast to profit driven corporate entities like Australia Post who care nothing about people – just profits.”
The slow down of Ipswich retail and consumer rates has been a continuing issue for businesses during the redevelopment, with most of what was the Ipswich Mall now dormant. Closure of the post office for the CBD can only exacerbate the problem, with fewer people coming into Central Ipswich to use the post office and as businesses have to access Australia Post services elsewhere.
Some in the community have made a connection between Crime and Corruption Commission investigations into Ipswich City Council and the inevitable loss of business confidence in the city.
Closure of such an icon of business history in the CBD is indicative of the struggles the Interim Administrion and a newly elected Council next year will face in restoring business confidence in the city.
For the many businesses in Ipswich who rely on the post office for receiving mail and packages it will be likely their mail will be delivered via courier, but any costs involved in changing PO box numbers and information remains unknown.
A $200 million postal distribution and sorting centre in Redbank is expected to be completed by Christmas this year in order to help handle the increase in online shopping sales being processed by Australia Post.
The move to warehouses over post offices is becoming more common as fewer people write letters and businesses move towards saving money and green initiatives by conducting their communications online.