A TEN cent price hike by Australia Post to the cost of basic postage came into effect this week.
It now costs 70 cents to post a standard letter but the price hike also triggered the introduction of a concession stamp that can be accessed by thousands of Manning Valley residents.
Concession card holders can apply for a MyPost Concession Account and it will entitle them to five free concession stamps, with the option to purchase a maximum of 50 concession stamps per year.
The concession stamps can be used for small and large domestic letters only and are not valid for parcels or international services.
The cost of a concession stamp will be 60 cents and this will be available for the next three years along with concession rates on other qualifying Australia Post services and a digital mailbox.
The MyPost Concession Account is available to holders of the following Federal government concession cards:
o Pensioner Concession Card
o Health Care Card
o Commonwealth Seniors Health Care Card
o Department of Veteran's Affairs Card
o Veteran's Repatriation Health Card
The 10 cent increase on basic postage was not objected to by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) or by the minister for communications.
"It is vital that Australia Post ensures we provide an affordable and accessible letters service for all Australians. We remain mindful of the impact to the cost of living of an increase to the stamp price, particularly for those groups who are more dependent on our traditional services," said Managing Director and CEO Ahmed Fahour.
"The MyPost Concession Account has been created to meet the needs of those customers to help them manage costs by providing them with access to the concession stamp.
"Our customers' needs are changing and Australia Post must evolve our services to ensure that we continue to help people stay connected by providing a range of choices of relevant services, whether it's physical or digital," added Mr Fahour.
"Last year, our mail business lost $218 million and this increase to the domestic stamp price will go some way to off-setting this loss but it will not eliminate it. The establishment of a MyPost Concession Account ensures that our services remain affordable for low income groups while maintaining our essential services for all Australians."
Eligible customers can sign-up now for MyPost Concession Account at their local Australia Post outlet or download the application form from auspost.com.au/mypost.