Glebe Post Office
Something happened on 19th December 2010 that roused the Glebe community into unified action. No, Australia Post did not make an announcement that they were planning to close Glebe Post Office. Australia Post never had any intention of informing the community. The CEPU Union Branch Secretary gave a statement to the Sunday Telegraph. This was the first we knew about the intended closure.
On the following Monday, some concerned people decided to take action. They included some members of the Glebe Society, other residents and business owners. What ensued was a flurry of letters written to Australia Post Board, our elected members and Senator Conroy. He happened to be overseas for the entire time we were campaigning. Meetings were also held with all of our elected members and the State Manager of Australia Post.
The major public action was to hold a rally on Thursday 20 January to ‘Save Glebe Post Office’. This was preceded by media coverage in the Sydney Morning Herald, including an Opinion piece by Elizabeth Farrelly, the Inner West Courier, and on ABC Radio, thanks to Deborah Cameron. The community was informed by distribution of 3,500 flyers and by posters in shops. An army of volunteers stood outside Glebe Post Office talking to residents getting signatures for the petition. As a result, we had a very successful rally with close to 600 residents in attendance. Speakers included the State Member Verity Firth, Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Councillor Meredith Burgmann, Sofi Lidgren, President Glebe Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Member Tanya Plibersek. At the rally, petitions with nearly 5,000 signatures were handed to Tanya Plibersek in order that she hand them to Senator Conroy when Parliament resumed. Police from Leichhardt Area Command were present and gave full support. The community, as one, sent a strong message to Australia Post and Senator Conroy that the proposed closure was unacceptable. The Glebe Society gave its wholehearted support to the campaign, both financially and philosophically.
The resolve to get full postal services in Glebe to date, has failed. Australia Post wrote to Tanya Plibersek on Tuesday 1st February stating that Glebe Post Office would close on 4th February and that a Community Postal Agency operation would be established in Lucky 7 Convenience Store at 179 Glebe Point Road. In the same statement, it was noted that an additional service may be introduced. This facility will only offer stamps and envelopes and does not meet the needs of the local community.
The Glebe community showed its strength in mounting a united, strategic and professional campaign. Further options for action may include a legal challenge and an investigation of Australia Post Corporation Act. At this point in time, it is not clear if members of the public are aware of Australia Post’s decision. Members can still write to Senator Conroy and Ahmed Fahour, CEO of Australia Post and to David Mortimer, the Chair of Australia Post Board. It is important to ask the hard questions for which we seek answers.
On behalf of POGA (Post Office Glebe Action)