Australia Post sell-off would 'devastate' rural towns

Selling Australia Post would devastate rural and regional communities, according to one of the country's small town post office operators.

Bruce Keeley, who owns Braidwood Post Office in the NSW southern tablelands, said he was optimistic for the future of community post offices, despite reports the head of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission supported the sale of Australia Post. 

Mr Keeley said he had seen the notion of a sale come and go several times since he bought his business nearly 16 years ago.

But any sale that caused closures of small town post offices would be devastating to rural and regional communities.

"If the mail service was removed as it functions now, it would be a devastating thing," he said.

"Some people drive a 100-kilometre round trip to pick up an item. If there was no facility to provide that service to the people of Braidwood or any other little town like us, what would they do?"

Stressing that he spoke as a small business owner, not on behalf of Australia Post, the 62-year-old said while privatising the postal service might create uncertainty for licensees, rural communities would lose out if their post offices closed.

Post offices served as hubs for small towns, he said.

Mr Keeley said his post office offered passport application and other services, without which Braidwood residents would need to drive an hour to Canberra or 45 minutes to Batemans Bay.

SMH.COM.AU

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