Statutory reporting requirements for the year ended 30 June 2019
Australia Post is subject to various statutory reporting requirements, including under the Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989, the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, the Superannuation Benefits (Supervisory Mechanisms) Act 1990, and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
A number of matters are dealt with in the main body of the report. Others are covered below.
The powers and functions of Australia Post are set out in Sections 14-19 of the Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989.
The Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, has portfolio responsibility for Australia Post. Under a dual shareholder model, overall responsibility for Australia Post is exercised jointly with the Minister for Finance, Senator the Hon Mathias Cormann.
Indemnities and insurance premiums for directors and officers
Australia Post has in place a directors’ and officers’ liability insurance policy. The policy provides cover in respect of any person who is or was a director or officer of Australia Post, when acting in these capacities. Confidentiality requirements within the insurance contracts prohibit additional disclosure.
Directors of Australia Post are also indemnified by Australia Post, to the extent permitted by law, against any liability incurred in their capacity as a director.
In February 2004, the Minister of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts provided formal notification under section 28 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 that the Government’s National Code for the Construction Industry and associated implementation guidelines were to apply to all construction-related activity undertaken by and on behalf of Australia Post. The notification has had no major impact on the corporation as Australia Post has, since their introduction in 1997, made compliance with the code and guidelines a condition of all of its construction related tenders.
Section 49 of the Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989 empowers the Minister to give the Board written directions in relation to the performance of Australia Post’s functions as appear to be necessary in the public interest. No notification or direction has been issued under this provision.
Section 22 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 empowers the Finance Minister to make an order specifying a policy of the Australian Government that is to apply in relation to one or more corporate Commonwealth entities. No order with application to Australia Post has been issued under this provision.
There have been no instances of non-compliance with any direction referred to above.
Other government obligations
Postal Industry Ombudsman
The Postal Industry Ombudsman has estimated the costs of investigating complaints relating to Australia Post during 2018/19 to be $850,000.
ACCC record keeping
The cost of regulatory compliance with the ACCC’s record keeping rules in 2018/19 is estimated at $150,000.
Maintaining heritage properties
The cost of repairing and maintaining heritage listed properties in 2018/19 was $1.9 million.
Medical/Educational Remote Area Parcel service
The Medical/Educational Remote Area Parcel service provides reduced postage rates for parcels containing health and educational material that are sent to and from people living in remote communities.
In 2018/19, revenue foregone in relation to the service is estimated to be $33,228.
All Australia Post employees are provided superannuation benefits of at least the minimum required by law.
From 1 January 2012, Australia Post ceased to offer membership of the Australia Post Superannuation Scheme, which pays a lump sum defined benefit, to new employees engaged under a management contract of employment. From 1 July 2012, this decision was extended to all new employees. New Australia Post employees may instead join a new default defined contribution superannuation fund, the Australia Post Superannuation Plan, or nominate a complying superannuation fund of their choice.
Work Health and Safety (WHS) report
The following information is presented in accordance with the requirements of Schedule 2, Part 3 and Part 4 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act).
Australia Post’s new Group Safety and Wellbeing Strategy was developed in 2017/18, with the following key focus areas and commenced activities:
Serious Injury and Fatality (SIF)
supported and enabled a migration away from motorcycle to other modes of delivery such as electric delivery vehicles
evolved focus on motorcycle rounds to reduce exposures
continued dog awareness training
convened three working groups with frontline participants from across the key operational areas of our business to review close to 4,000 SIF incidents to support clear 2-3 year exposure reduction roadmap focused on developing SIF decision trees and identifying critical controls required to address exposures
commenced educating and training our people in utilisation of the SIF tools to address exposures
introduced forklift minimum standards
ensured that new facility design incorporated separation between pedestrians and load shifting equipment and
continued to educate our people on dealing with aggressive customers in post offices and contact centres.
continued to automate as many processes as possible to eliminate manual handling exposure
completed a data mining exercise to determine focus areas
piloted a new movement training program in several areas across the business, and rolled out the program in all post offices in NSW
extended the exercise physiology program to transport depots, parcel and major StarTrack facilities
commenced ergonomic mapping of tasks associated with specific job roles – with a focus on higher order controls and
trialled a number of local initiatives to reduce manual handling exposure.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
improved mental health reporting with detailed reports received by the Executive Team
engaged our entire workforce in the mental health conversation through Group-wide “Safety Time” workshops
the mental health focus assisted to educate people on the signs of poor mental health, how to maintain positive mental health and reduce stigma
engaged a new employee assistance provider
expanded our assistance provider to contractors, licensees and their immediate family members
continued mental health essentials training for people leaders
included a mental health index in the staff survey to gather data to target programs
implemented an online health assessment check which involved around 7 per cent of our workforce
promoted healthy eating through “dial a dietician” services
coordinated on site health checks including blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar testing
encouraged staff to get active through parkrun promotion and a “new year” campaign
commenced integrated psychological risk assessments for specific job roles and
delivered resilience workshops to postal managers.
During the year, Australia Post undertook the following activities aimed at reducing the incidence of work-related injuries and illnesses and complying with WHS regulatory requirements. These included:
continued senior leader commitment to WHS, including convening a new Enterprise Safety Council (ESC) as a peak decision-making body. The ESC is chaired by the Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, and includes a non- executive Director representative
a safety management forum of senior business leaders whom oversee safety strategy implementation through monthly meetings
adjusted our lag indicator to Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) as a more representative and intuitive lag indicator
senior leaders continue to attend sites across the country to conduct serious injury incident investigations, with recommended lead safety activity outcomes
the safety leadership journal to guide safety observations and conversations and provide resource material, is now utilised across all functional area’s inclusive of Operations, post office Network and corporate office environment
the Safety Leadership program was rolled out to a further 280 people leaders across the business
“One Safe” a new Group-wide safety program now exists for the automated recording of all safety incidents, inclusive
of four categories, incidents with injury, incidents, Hazards, Near Miss has now been implemented and active. The system provides real time analysis of causal event, injury outcome, investigation and lead safety initiative activity including event closure. Safety observations and Total Recordable Medical injuries also are updated daily
“Safety Time” was implemented for the eighth year in a row, focussing on understanding your work environment,
relevant task/function exposures and application of controls and tolerance
our WHS management system continued to be improved and over 20 new WHS documents developed
external road safety campaign “There is a life riding on it” highlighting postal delivery officer safety in the community
joint sponsorship with Re-act (Swinburne Uni UTS) – Vulnerable Road Users safety campaign
implementation of a Group-wide Alcohol and Other Drug testing program.
implementation of Site / Functional Risk Registers, inclusive of Exposure, relevant controls and Tolerance
WHS committees continued to meet at local sites, and at State and national levels and
health and safety representatives continue to be supported to play a key role in local safety committees and engaging front line staff.
The safety strategy clearly extends our focus beyond employees to our extended workforce, and there is ongoing work to engage and support our contractors and licensees to work together to reduce exposures.
active ongoing Leadership programs surrounding safety and exposure awareness
Chief Operating Office Safety Roadshow focussing on personal accountability for Safety
targeted activity analysis of major work sites to implement exposure reduction strategies
expanded on-site exercise physiologist program to 70 facilities
invested $4 million in delivering 23 localised facility generated safety initiatives
invested in removing falls from height exposure at all regional StarTrack facilities
implemented Drivers Daily Fitness for Duties Declaration into StarTrack
introduction of telematics to electric delivery vehicle and motorcycle fleets
contractors’ WHS audit program
continued focus on hazard identification in delivery – reviewing round hazard profiles and hazard videoing
continued focus on motorcycle reduction program through the introduction of electric delivery devices and replacement of motorcycle rounds with either
electric assisted motorised bikes or walk rounds, or van runs
implement risk registers across all facilities
focused on critical control verifications to ensure that controls to reduce serious incidents and fatalities are in place and are reflective and relevant within site risk registers
developed and piloted “Dog Attack” prevention strategies and initiatives including the piloting of ultrasonic devices and partnering with local councils
piloted to use of forklift proximity devices within 2 major facilities to reduce the interaction between forklifts and pedestrians
continued use of Safety Leadership Journal as a resource for operational leaders
implemented weekly Starting with Safety communications, whereby key learning and actions arising from serious incidents are communicated across the business
continued fortnightly national incident review meetings were held to share learnings
undertaken full review of Chain of Responsibility (CoR) management system to ensure that it aligns with CoR / heavy vehicle laws
implemented Line Haul Supplier Contractor Assurance & Obligations process to ensure that engaged suppliers are meeting WHS and CoR obligations
undertook deep dive into mail and parcel processing to understand factors contributing to decline in performance and identify strategies to target areas causing injury
Post Office Network
The Move4Life Program is a preventative program being rolled across the post office network and other areas of the business which is focused on reducing ache, strain and pains and helping to build our physical resilience.
The Powerzone program is focused on the storage of parcels in our post offices to minimise potential shoulder and back injuries by storing heavy articles and stock in a location on the shelving that encourages collecting and carrying parcels within individuals Powerzone (close to their core strength area).
Exposure Management – The ongoing Blackspot Program is a key initiative of continual focus within our post offices to identify potential exposures which over time we may have come to miss/become blinded to their existence. The aim of the initiative is to continually review the safety hazards and eradicate them for our post offices.
Customer – A training package has been developed in partnership with Communicorp to provide our frontline staff with techniques in managing customer aggression. This incorporated the learnings from other organisations who have similar customer facing activities.
Health and Wellbeing Challenges have been conducted across the corporate network via the Retail Rewards program with a focus on health (diet, fitness) and wellbeing. This will be complemented with the rollout of the Health and Wellbeing portal in the post office network in FY20.
Mental Health Essentials training for all corporate Postal Managers to help in recognising and managing mental health issues in the workplace. This has also focused on managing the threat of suicide.
Rollout of Safety Programs is commencing across the Licensed Post Office (LPO) network with all future programs to be workforce orientated in their delivery and design.
Move4Life and Aggressive Customer are being rolled out across the network as second tranche of these programs.
Workforce Assistance Program has been rolled out across the LPO Network which offers licensees and their staff access to the services provided by our Employee Assistance Program provider, Converge. This provides our Post Office Licensees, their families and their employees access to the same services we have provided our corporate teams for many years.
Community and Consumer
Automated External Defibrillator – Community trials of installing these externally in Corporate and LPOs so staff and community can respond to a medical emergency that requires defibrillation.
The Customer Centricity program has also been important in addressing the accessibility and front-of-house customer facing areas to ensure they are safe for our customers.
Mental health & well being
continuation of mental health essentials training for people leaders
partnered with Beyond Blue to improve mental health outcomes in the community, particularly in rural and remote areas
developed a Psychological SIF decision tree
delivered Critical Incident Response training for Human Resources Business Partners
supported the development of the Secondary Psychological Injury research project
introduced the Pups2Work program trial at Bourke Street Corporate Headquarters
delivered a Group-wide RUOK Day campaign in September 2018 and March 2019
introduced the HealthyMe wellbeing portal, as a one stop shop addressing all aspects of health through gamification and interactive programs
refined the mental health index in the staff survey to gather psychosocial data to target programs
developed a change risk assessment process to ensure employee mental health is considered when designing and implementing change
introduced a peer:peer support network to both the Northern and Southern Customer Experience Transformation centres
promoted financial wellbeing and support through targeted promotions of the Employee Assistance Program MoneyAssist service
coordinated on site flu vaccinations and health checks including blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar testing
encouraged staff to get active through parkrun promotion and a ‘new year’ campaign
continued integrated psychological risk assessments for specific job role and
introduced job-fit psychosocial screening against identified risk in the contact centres.
Also during 2018/19:
sixty-six incidents were notified to Comcare under section 38 of the WHS Act
no seizures made under section 175 or 176 of the WHS Act
one improvement notice issued under section 191 of the WHS Act
one prohibition notice issued under section 195 of the WHS Act
one non-disturbance notice was issued under section 198 of the WHS Act
no remedial action was taken under section 211 or 212 of the WHS Act
no written undertakings were accepted by Comcare under section 216 of the WHS Act
no applications for internal review were made under section 224 of the WHS Act
no applications for external review were made under section 229 of the WHS Act
no infringement notices were given under section 243 of the WHS Act and
no prosecution was instituted under the WHS Act.
There were 23 Health and Safety Representative training courses run during the year, with a total of 207 participants trained.
Freedom of information report
In 2018/19, Australia Post received 157 applications under the Freedom of Information Act 1982.
Including the 2 applications already on hand at 30 June 2018, and with 5 applications outstanding at 30 June 2019, a total of 154 Freedom of information applications were resolved in the year.
These were handled as follows:
Access granted in full
Access granted in part
There were 5 applications for internal review received during the year.
Categories of documents
The categories of documents maintained by Australia Post include those relating to:
corporate organisation and administration;
Australia Post’s financial management;
management of assets;
internal administration including policy development and program administration, reports, briefings, correspondence, minutes, submissions, statistics and other documents;
Board submissions relating to the business of Australia Post;
reference material used by staff including guidelines and manuals;
legal advice; and
The categories of documents listed above are maintained by Australia Post in a variety of formats. Some of these documents, along with information on Australia Post’s organisation, structure and activities, can be obtained free of charge by accessing Australia Post’s website at www.auspost.com.au.
Access to documents
Access to documents under the Freedom of Information Act can be obtained by forwarding a written request to:
Freedom of Information Officer Legal
Australia Post Headquarters GPO Box 1777
MELBOURNE VIC 3001 foi [at] auspost.com.au
Privacy and access to personal information
Under the Privacy Act 1988 individuals have, subject to certain exceptions permitted by law, a right to request access to their personal information that is held by Commonwealth agencies and private-sector organisations.
Individuals may apply for access to their personal information held by Australia Post by writing to:
Privacy Manager Risk & Compliance
Australia Post Headquarters GPO Box 1777
MELBOURNE VIC 3001
Fraud governance, prevention, detection and response for the Group is governed by our Group Fraud Policy (Policy).
This Policy is supported by our Fraud Management Framework (Framework) and other integrity-related policies. Roles and responsibilities for the Board of Directors, Management and Employees are clearly articulated within the Policy, which was last updated in April 2019.
The Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 provides principles of fraud risk management to which Commonwealth Entities are required to comply, and incorporates specific obligations on the Board to prevent, detect and deal with fraud. We have identified the key provisions as they relate to fraud management and have aligned our Framework as appropriate.
The Group’s Framework aligns with Australia Post’s Risk Management Policy and other related policies, follows the Australian Fraud and Corruption Control Standard (AS 8001:2008), the Commonwealth Fraud Control Framework 2017 and aligns with the Protective Security Policy Framework.
Application of the Group’s Framework is facilitated by the Chief Risk Officer function and includes:
identifying exposures to fraud and developing, establishing and maintaining controls to prevent and detect fraud, misappropriations and inappropriate conduct;
ensuring familiarity with the types of improprieties that could occur and being alert to any indication of irregularities; and
appropriate responsibility and escalation processes.
Australia Post has a policy of zero tolerance towards fraudulent activity or behaviour by staff and external parties and periodically reviews its fraud control arrangements to take into account changes in its operating environment. A current review has commenced in August 2019 and the results from this will as necessary be reflected in changes to the policy, framework, plans and training.
Examination of mail
Australia Post is authorised under the Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989 (APC Act) to open mail, as required by the Australian Border Force (ABF), in the following circumstances:
when it is suspected that articles may contain prohibited substances; or
to determine that appropriate duties/taxes are met.
ABF personnel has also been authorised under section 90T of the APC Act to remove and open articles in excess of a particular weight which Customs or ABF reasonably believes
may contain drugs or other chemical compounds being carried in contravention of a law of the Commonwealth. ABF has also been authorised under section 90FB (3) of the APC Act to act as an authorised examiner for the purpose of examining mail without opening (i.e. by x-ray or with drug detection dogs).
Biosecurity Inspection and Quarantine officers from a prescribed state or territory (i.e. Western Australia, Tasmania or Northern Territory) are authorised under section 90U of the APC Act
to request Australia Post to open, for inspection, any article for delivery in that prescribed state or territory; where the inspection officer has reasonable grounds to believe the item consists of, or contains, quarantine material.
Section 90UA authorises Australia Post to remove articles from the mailstream where it is suspected that the article consist of, or contain scam mail. Suspected scam mail may also be withdrawn from the mail upon receipt of a written request from a consumer protection agency.
In accordance with Section 90FB, Australia Post has appointed authorised examiners at designated locations where mail can be opened for inspection.
Authorised Australia Post staff may open undeliverable articles at approved locations for the purpose of identifying intended recipient or return addresses. They may also open mail to repair an article or its contents so that the article can be made safe for carriage by post.
Disclosure of information
The Corporation is authorised to disclose information to agencies which have the legislative power to obtain such information. This includes instances relating to enforcement of the criminal law, the protection of the public revenue, the reduction of threats to life and notification of next of kin.
As required under ss.43 (1) (o) (i) and (ii) of the APC Act, Tables 1 and 2 detail the number of times that such information was disclosed during the year and the authorities or bodies to which it was disclosed.
Disclosure of information/documents (Section 90J “Authority”)*
(Applies to all information or documents)
Authority for disclosure
Number of disclosures
Disclosures made to
Disclosure under a law of the 4,115 Commonwealth [s. 90J(5)]
Australian Border Force
Australian Financial Security Authority
Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority
Australian Taxation Office
Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries & Forestry
Department of Environment & Energy
Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade
Department of Health & Ageing – Therapeutic Goods Administration
Department of Human Services
Australian Federal Police
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
Department of Human Services – Centrelink
Department of Defence
Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of Environment & Energy
Disclosures under certain laws 82
establishing commissions [s. 90J(6)]
Crime Commission (NSW)
Australian Crime Intelligence Commission
Crime and Corruption Commission (QLD)
Australian Electoral Commission
Australian Securities & Investments Commission
Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
* There were no disclosures made under s. 90J (3), (7), (8) or (9).
Disclosure of information/documents (Section 90K “Authority”) *
(Applies to information or documents not specially protected)
Authority for disclosure
Number of disclosures
Disclosures made to
Disclosure for the enforcement of laws or protection of public revenue [s. 90K(5)]
1,427 — Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (VIC)
Department of Parks and Wildlife (WA)
Department of Fair Trading (NSW)
Department of Fair Trading (QLD)
Department of Justice (WA)
Department of Transport and Main Roads (QLD)
Director of Public Prosecutions (TAS)
Office of Consumer & Business Affairs (VIC)
Office of Consumer & Business Affairs (NT)
Police (Australian Capital Territory)
Police (New South Wales)
Police (Northern Territory)
Police (South Australia)
Police (Western Australia)
* There were no disclosures made under s. 90K (2), (3) or (4). Note: Commonwealth agencies, unless otherwise indicated.
Reports of outside bodies
The following report by an outside body was given on Australia Post during 2018/19:
In June 2019 the Commonwealth Ombudsman issued a report titled Follow-up report on Australia Post’s response tothe Ombudsman’s recommendations – A report on Australia Post’s Implementation of the Commonwealth Ombudsmanrecommendations from review of Australia Post complaints about carding, safe drop and compensation (April 2018), on Australia Post’s implementation of the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s April 2018 recommendations.
Our organisational structure
The powers and functions of Australia Post are set out in Sections 14-19 of the Australian PostalCorporation Act 1989.