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22 April 2021

Ombudsman working with Australia Post to support food producers

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson says today’s decision by Australia Post to continue shipping perishable goods across the country will bring joyful relief to small business food producers.

Mr Billson has welcomed the invitation to co-chair an industry working forum, which will work collaboratively to resolve any issues Australia Post is experiencing across its delivery network, to support small business food producers.

“I look forward to working closely with Australia Post and all relevant stakeholders to ensure small businesses can continue to count on these essential delivery services,” Mr Billson says.

“Small business food producers, especially those in regional areas, are breathing a huge sigh of relief today that they can continue doing what they do best – growing their business – with confidence that their goods will be delivered by Australia Post.

“Australia Post has positioned itself as the delivery partner to small businesses and family enterprises, particularly to those businesses that moved to selling their products online as a result of the COVID crisis.

“This partnership has benefited both sides of the relationship and consumers.

“It was not right to unilaterally declare an end to vital delivery services to the detriment of these small businesses and the customers who depend on them. Australia Post is doing the right thing for its small business customers by reversing this decision.

“Now is the time to be working together to identify what the problems are and to find solutions to make a pathway forward.

“Let’s roll up our sleeves so that we can achieve a much better outcome for e-commerce powered small businesses who rely on Australia Post to fulfil their orders.”

The Ombudsman will meet with Australia Post next week and then again with the broader industry group in May. Mr Billson will collaborate closely with his state-based Small Business Commissioner colleagues to ensure their valuable perspective and regulatory insights are part of the problem-solving approach.

Regular sessions will be held with key regulatory bodies, government agencies and e-commerce representatives to work towards a resolution on this important issue.