Australia Post (AusPost) has confirmed it will continue to provide passport services across its national post office network for up to six years after signing a new contract with the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
The new agreement commences July 1, 2018, and continues a service that Australia Post has been trusted to provide the community for more than 30 years.
Importantly, the agreement with DFAT guarantees post office licensees continue to provide this service until least 2021, with the potential for DFAT to extend the agreement for up to another three years.
Passport application services are currently offered in more than 1,600 post offices across the country. Australia Post processes more than 1.9 million passport applications on behalf of DFAT each year, the equivalent of 96% of all passport applications in Australia.
The Post Office Agents Association Limited (POAAL), the membership association for the operators of licensed post offices (LPOs), welcomed the news.
Bob Chizzoniti, POAAL director, said, “The new contract with DFAT is good news for licensed post office owners and the communities they serve. There’s no other trusted national retail network like the post office network. LPOs are crucial in providing passport services to Australians, especially in rural and remote areas.
“Australia Post is subject to community service obligations (CSOs), which include delivery of letters and maintaining a retail network. Winning this important DFAT contract will help maintain the nationwide network of post offices.
“Post offices are ideal for offering identity verification services such as passport interviews. The income from passport services is also important to LPOs. It is vital that Australia Post continues to seek new income streams to help sustain the LPO network.”
March 26, 2018