Businesses slam decision
TWO things are certain about the end of over-the-counter service at Australia Post's Chapple St Business centre.
First, Australian Post appears to have made up its mind.
Second, small businesses in the area are disgusted by the decision.
Kate Reilly owns Baraka Training & Management, which is not far from the Chapple St Business Centre. Baraka provides training services locally and across the state.
She is frustrated by what she describes as a "ridiculous" decision from Australia Post. As far as she is concerned, it is another example of small businesses not being provided the infrastructure they need to succeed.
"Services (in Gladstone) just don't seem to be keeping up with the pace of businesses in the town," she said.
"To be closing a service like that in the current climate, I just think it's the most ridiculous thing I have heard."
Ms Reilly said her business relied heavily on the service.
"I basically go there every day," she said.
"We do qualification programs, such as frontline management and project management, so we receive, mark and send out return assessments to people.
"I pay bills through the (Chapple St centre). I also buy supplies there, like paper, folders and general stationery."
Now Ms Reilly will have to go to the post office at either Stockland Gladstone in Kin Kora or the Valley Shopping Centre, which will be an inconvenience.
"There is always a line out the door whenever you go (to the Post Office in Stockland Gladstone). So the Valley is my next bet, but it is pretty horrendous there as well."
Even though she can keep her post box at the Chapple St centre, she doubts whether that would make sense for her, because she would be going to one Australia Post location to use her post box, and another to perform her other tasks.
Ms Reilly's main point is that the Chapple St facility is well-placed to cater for small and medium businesses. It is in the heart of a thriving small business area and is easily accessed on a quiet road with easy parking.
"Guys pull up there in their work utes and trucks and it's so easy," she said.
"Any of the other centres that Australian Post are mentioning (as an alternative), there is just not the ease of access. For people who are running a business, ease of access is a big issue."
Australian Post has said it is closing over-the-counter services at the centre because of "declining customer numbers".