Australia Post: Another marketised public service gone wrong

Question: What does Australia Post and Australia’s universities have in common?

Answer: They both screw over their low-paid insecure staff while paying senior management exorbitant salaries and bonuses.

Seriously, check out these shenanigans from Australia Post, with its highly paid executive team lining up $7 million in bonuses while it expects staff to volunteer to use their own cars to deliver late parcels:

The national mail service emailed its Victorian workforce, including staff from administration and finance, on Monday to “urgently” ask for help to meet unprecedented demand from customers because of a surge in online shopping.

The call to arms to employees coincides with the organisation’s managing director Christine Holgate softening the ground for her executive team to accept personal bonuses…

Ms Holgate, who was paid $2.5 million last year as the nation’s highest earning civil servant, is estimated to be in line for a $1 million-plus bonus while other executives could take home up to $600,000…

In the memo to staff on Monday, deliveries general manager Rod Barnes said AusPost needed people with a driver’s licence and car to help with parcel pick-up services from facilities in Dandenong South, Bayswater and Brooklyn and deliver to customers for shifts this week.

Staff are asked to declare they are able to carry and lift up to 16kg of mail and parcels repeatedly through the day…

Staff will be reimbursed for the use of their cars and those who volunteer on the weekend will receive time off in lieu.

Amazing stuff. If Australian Post is busy, pay staff to work extra.  That’s what a job is.

I love how the executives think they should get a bonus for their good work when parcel deliveries are being delayed and staff are being asked to work overtime for free.

Australia Post is merely the latest example of the failure of ‘marketisation’ to deliver government services.

The lunatics are in charge of the asylum.

Leith van Onselen
Latest posts by Leith van Onselen (see all)


  1. I have parcels that have apparently been in Australia for 45 days yet they haven’t left the airport (Mascot). I’m sure “free shipping” doesn’t help, but it is getting ridiculous…

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      Doesn’t matter if your parcels get out of the airport, they’re getting rid of one in four delivery staff as well. While the consumer is waiting longer for their baubles AusPost is making more profit.

      You people who buy stuff AND expect timely delivery are just a pain in the arse.

      • Yeah, I’m a right twat, that’s for sure. Expect way too much from our government services, which makes me a fool also. Should run for office!

        Meanwhile, I’m done buying anything from China now, period. I was 50/50 on the last lot, but now it isn’t something I can justify morally or ethically. I’m out!

        • Mining BoganMEMBER

          I told the story a few weeks ago how one parcel with AusPost took two weeks to travel across Hellbourne yet another parcel with DHL took four days to arrive from Birmingham, England.

          As for buying Chinamen goods, I thought I’d boycott and try to source baubles from elsewhere. The stuff I buy from the US is usually made in USA. The stuff from Europe and Oz is usually still made in Chinaland. It’s hard to escape.

          • Yes, sourcing from the USA seems to most reliable, but for electrical engineering products it’s hard to say even when you’re buying them the country of origin. Most international distributors will also ship from the most appropriate warehouse, so that also complicates things.

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            Bought a motors electronic controller recently from the States all Ok bit usually the freight costs are horrendous.

          • Jumping jack flash

            “usually the freight costs are horrendous”

            freight from UK is getting up there too.

          • Locus of ControlMEMBER

            I can recommend DHL too. East Midlands UK to Darwin – one week from purchase to delivery & this occurred less than a month ago (COVID era). Good stuff. If Auspost must be run on a privatised model, DHL sets a good standard they could aspire to.

  2. In every field in Australia, the elites are not fit to rule.

    The Virus will eventually deal with them all.

  3. You can probably guarantee the diversity check boxes are being met while everything else is lost in the mail….

  4. ‘the organisation’s managing director Christine Holgate softening the ground for her executive team to accept personal bonuses’
    What bullsh*t terminology is that???? What does that even mean in actual grammar???? I know it means that they were paving the way for the general public to not kick up about the outrageous bonuses, but really?????

    Oh and …
    ‘I love how the executives think they should get a bonus for their good work when parcel deliveries are being delayed and staff are being asked to work overtime for free.’
    The bonus for their good work is absolutely justified as they came up with the ‘great idea’ that the ‘plebs’ should do this for free, which means that the delivery model stands and the budget stands in times of increased volumes.
    As for the time off in lieu, that’s absolute theft, for a low paid worker, they should be on weekend rates for that!
    But hey, the whole shemozzle is worthy of huge bonuses to those who can get a way with it!

  5. AP has guaranteed bonuses including for lower level roles.

    Guaranteed bonuses are useless.

    Bonuses for doing or not doing your job.

    Their bonus should be, if they do their job, they get to keep their job!

  6. If I am reading that correctly staff can deliver parcels instead of doing there finance job? I.e. If you are paid $500 a day as a finance person you will be paid $500 a day to deliver parcels with reimbursement for vehicle use. If you give up your weekend to deliver parcels you get days off from your finance job and reimbursement for vehicle use.

    Have I missed something? Seems like a trade off from one job to another for the same money. Those on higher salaries would likely not deliver parcels for $20 bucks an hour but they may deliver for extra PTO at full pay.

    I’m not seeing the issue here?

    • Of course its a rort that is of more benefit to the higher ranks. The old CEO used to call himself a Posty and even had that on his personalised plates on some flash euro trash wankmobile.

  7. I worked for Post for decades. They are full on IPA and managed at the top by the very worst of people. And increasingly, I am sad to say, many of the new recruits at the bottom are not that flash either. Once upon a time its workers raised a family , bought a home and sorted, transported and delivered ordinary letters between capital cities the next day. It’s FUBAR

  8. Jumping jack flash

    “They both screw over their low-paid insecure staff while paying senior management exorbitant salaries and bonuses.”

    Who can blame them, these executives and managers are people too, and people need debt. Gargantuan piles of it to afford the lifestyle they expect someone in their position needs to have.

    What does Australia Post actually produce? Not all that much if anything. Do they even have a monopoly or oligopoly? Of sorts, maybe, but there are a ton of private transport companies. Therefore the business model they must adopt in the New Economy is using wage theft instead of raising prices.

    You can only gouge if you provide an essential good or service as part of an oligopoly, and consumers have no choice. This doesn’t exactly apply for these guys.

    So these guys were resorting to wage theft and then paying those stolen wages to their top tier [to obtain debt]?
    I am not surprised at all.
    How much debt attached to properties do these people own?

  9. Arthur Schopenhauer

    WTF don’t es a Public Service role get $7million a year. Fk the sour cream rises to the top in our country.

  10. Ok, let’s look at this another way; what privatised ex-tax payer owned asset has every worked as intended? If the intent was to funnel massive amounts of money to a select few then it’s worked a treat. For the rest of us, we’re left suck ass.