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Mail, courier and parcel services

Industry Commission inquiry report

Signed 30 / 10 / 1992

This report resulted from an Industry Commission public inquiry into public and private mail, courier and parcel services (including electronic services). The Commission was asked to report on institutional, regulatory or other arrangements subject to influence by governments in Australia that inhibit efficient resource use, and advise on courses of action that could remove such inhibitions and facilitate improved efficiency.

A related Industry Commission inquiry report is Book Printing.

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  • Contents

Cover, Copyright, Signing Page, Terms of Reference, Contents, Abbreviations, Overview and Recommendations

1 Introduction
1.1 The terms of reference
1.2 Recent developments in the provision of services
1.3 The Commission's approach
1.4 Participants' views of the principal issues
1.5 Conduct of the inquiry
1.6 Structure of the report

2 Charateristics of the Mail, Courier and Parcel Markets
2.1 Industry structure
2.2 Directed messages
2.3 Broadcast messages
2.4 Parcels and small freight
2.5 International mail

3 Structure and Activities of Australia Post
3.1 Recent reforms to Australia Post
3.2 Corporate strucure and accountability of Australia Post
3.3 Australia Post and the corporate model
3.4 Range of services provided
3.5 Service delivery by Australia Post

4 Performance of Australia Post
4.1 Costs of providing services
4.2 Pricing principles and practices
4.3 Pricing of services
4.4 Performance indicators
4.5 Investment appraisal
4.6 Summary

5 Community Services
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Community service obligations
5.3 Other obligations of Australia Post that impinge on CSOs
5.4 Perceived obligations of Australia Post
5.5 Other community services performed by Australia Post
5.6 Costs of fulfilling the letter community service obligations
5.7 Reasonable access to the letter service
5.8 Funding options
5.9 Summary

6 International Mail
6.1 Introduction
6.2 International mail and Australia's obligations
6.3 The Universal Postal Union and terminal dues
6.4 Postage rates for outgoing international mail
6.5 Increasing competition for international services
6.6 Administrative aspects of international mail
6.7 Summary

7 Competition and Regulation
7.1 Reserved services
7.2 Competition in the provision of letter services
7.3 Impact of the reserved services
7.4 Natural monopoly and the reserved services
7.5 Pro-competitive regulation
7.6 Competition in parcel services
7.7 Competition in city courier services
7.8 Labour costs
7.9 Summary

8 Providing letter services in a fully competitive environment
8.1 Factors affecting the extent of competition
8.2 Potential market structure for letter services
8.3 Operation of the potential letter networks: some effects of competition
8.4 Development of private letter service networks
8.5 Impact on Australia Post
8.6 Inter-connection and regulation of networks
8.7 Summary

9 Options for reforming the letter service
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Option 1 - Contracts with private letter service providers: no reserved services
9.3 Option 2 - Contract with Australia Post: no reserved services
9.4 Option 3 - Maintain Australia Post's obligations: reduced reserve services protection
9.5 Advantages over Option 2 or Option 3
9.6 Effects of implementing Option 2 or Option 3: claimed losses of profitablity by Australia Post
9.7 Ownership of Australia Post
9.8 Summary and recomendations
9.9 Timetable for implementing recommendations

A Public participation in the inquiry

B Pervious government inquiries/reports into mail, courier and parcel services

C Role of Post Office Agents

D Industrial relations and work practices in Austraia Post

E The impact of technology on the reserved sercvices

F Developments in, and reform of, postal systems in other countries


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