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Major Australia Post overhaul flagged

Australia Post operations are set for a major overhaul as the way Aussies shop changes.

An Australia Post van.
Australia Post may soon be getting a makeover. (Source: Getty)

An overhaul of how Australia Post will operate is on the cards thanks to a serious decline in letter deliveries and a major uptick in parcel services.

The federal government has launched a discussion paper aimed at modernising the postal service and making it more financially sustainable.

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said it was important Australia Post was sustainable because local post offices remained key service providers for many communities.

"Australia Post serves so many communities, particularly in rural and regional Australia," she told ABC.

"In many cases it's not only the office, it's the general store. It's often the only place also providing banking services. So, the whole point of this consultation is to understand from Australians - and in particular from small businesses and people representing rural and regional Australia - what they need in a modern Australia Post."

Rowland said while nothing had been decided yet, the changes would be a "productivity driver".

Australia Post delivered more than 500 million parcels during the past financial year, but letter deliveries were rapidly falling.

Since a peak of 8.5 addressed letters per week in 2007/08, Australian homes now receive just 2.4 letters per week. The discussion paper said the number was expected to halve again in the next five years.

"While traditional postal services usage declines, Australians are increasingly relying on Australia Post's nationwide parcel-delivery services, which operate in a highly competitive market," the discussion paper said.

Despite the talk of modernisation, the paper said Australia Post would remain in public hands, regardless of changes made.

- With AAP

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