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Post Office close ‘blow’

THE closure of Auburn Post Office in two months, has been slammed by Cumberland Mayor Lisa Lake, who said it would be a huge blow to the community.

Mayor Lake says residents are heavily reliant on its services and called on Australia Post to rethink its decision.
“The removal of post offices within Cumberland, would have an extremely detrimental impact on the community … These are critical service locations that must be retained,” she said.
The council has called on Australia Post CEO Paul Graham and Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, to reconsider its decision and provide a commitment that no post office locations are proposed for closure in future within Cumberland.
Mayor Lake said the post office was vital, especially for a community that had a very high overseas born population, high number of recent arrivals, many elderly and people without their own transport, and many who didn’t have the internet at home to access those services online.
“The closure of local post offices will be particularly problematic for the Cumberland community, where many residents rely on over-the-counter service and access to staff to assist them with their postage and other needs,” she said.
Although apologetic to the community, Australia Post said it would close the Auburn Post Shop in late August, following a 35 per cent drop in customer visits over the past four years “resulting in substantial financial losses”.
While Australia Post said the area was well serviced with 15 post offices within a five-kilometre radius of the Auburn Post Shop, the Mayor said any suggestion that residents could travel to Lidcombe or Berala for their post office needs, was not practical for the elderly or those who did not drive, and it created a further barrier to services for low-income households.
Appalled at the decision, Cr Sabrin Farooqui said the closure would create significant challenges, “particularly for vulnerable members of our community who rely on the post office for essential services”.
“It’s a major blow to our community, especially for residents with young children and those with limited English proficiency,” she said.
“It’s central location and the ease of getting in-person service, are vital for many residents.”
Post Office Boxes and free 24/7 parcel lockers will remain in central Auburn.