SUPPLY and demand are behind the disappearance of the ubiquitous red postal boxes from parts of the Mornington Peninsula.
The removal of letter boxes from Rosserdale Crescent, Mount Eliza and The Esplanade, Mount Martha in September prompted social media protests about cuts to postal services.
An Australia Post spokesperson said the decision to remove the letter boxes was made after “careful consideration” of a number of factors, including low use.
He also said that there were four other letter boxes available within a three-kilometre radius of the ones removed in Mount Eliza and Mount Martha.
The spokesperson said removing the boxes reflected a general change in communication habits, where letters were no longer the main form of communication.
“There has been a change in postal habits in recent years, with the average household receiving about 2.2 letters a week, down from 8.5 each week in 2008,” he said.
Australia Post released its end-of-year statement in August, showing letter volumes at two billion, down 7.8 per cent on last year. However, parcels and services revenue of $7.3 billion was up 0.9 per cent on last year.
In line with less letters being sent, customers continue to change the way they use post offices, with over-the-counter transactions continuing to drop and declining 20.9 per cent since the 2019 financial year.
Overall, Australia Post recorded a $200 million pre-tax loss, its second since it became a self-funded government business enterprise (GBE) in 1989.
Group CEO and managing director Paul Graham said despite all efforts, it was “simply not possible to stop the structural shift in the way Australians are using postal services”.
The spokesperson said Australia Post encouraged customers to visit auspost.com.au/locate to locate the closest post boxes in their area or call 13 POST (13 76 78) for help and support.