A MARNOO resident has raised concerns about the safety and convenience of the town’s new postal service.
Residents have been without a formal postal service since March after the town’s Milk Bar and Post Office closed down.
Marnoo community member Donna Cameron said Australia Post had informed residents that an alternative service would be provided from August 20.
“We were sent a letter to say that a new community mailbox would be installed behind the public toilet block in town,” she said.
“I have concerns about the safety of it. There is no proper disabled access to it and it’s just on a slab on concrete.
“It’s not undercover, there’s no lighting and it seems very unsafe. There is also nowhere for the postal worker to sort the mail – no table and no shelter.”
The red box includes slots for residents to collect their regular mail, as well as an assortment of parcel lockers.
“If we have something in the parcel lockers, we are given a key in our normal mailbox and told which locker it’s in,” she said.
“If the parcel is too big to fit, we still have to travel to Stawell to collect it. That’s more than 50 kilometres away.
“It would be very hard for a lot of people to have the time to make that trip. I run my own business and get parcels every single week.”
She said it felt like the the town had been forgotten about.
“It feels like they’ve said ‘we’ll just chuck it here’,” she said.
“I’ve been living here for 28 years and I’m usually fine and will go with the flow, but for some reason this has really bugged me.
“It’s not fair that we’ve been put into this situation. We’re losing so much – we lost the pub, the milk bar and now the postal service isn’t up to scratch. We’re just a little town and these things just won’t do.”
A public meeting was held in May for residents to voice their concerns to the Northern Grampians Shire Council.
Mayor Tony Driscoll said Australia Post had liaised with the council and the community to find a solution.
“I attended the community meeting, along with a few councillors and the chief executive, and took on the community’s concerns,” he said.
“We advocated to Australia Post on the community’s behalf and this was probably the best solution Australia Post could come up with.
“It’s not perfect or ideal, but Australia Post figured it was better than Marnoo having no service at all. It’s a critical for small towns to have access to a postal service.”
An Australia Post spokesperson said options were still being explored to find a suitable operator to provide postal services for Marnoo.
“We have installed community mail boxes for residents to use for free in the meantime,” they said.
“In consultation with the Northern Grampians Shire, it was determined that the best location for the boxes to meet accessibility, safety and parking needs was just off the main street at Shanahan Park, 23 Newall St, Marnoo.
“In addition, to prevent trips and enable our people to access the rear opening, the community mail boxes sit flush with the curb.
“As the community mail boxes can’t accommodate oversized or signature-on-delivery items, we are encouraging customers to sign up to our free MyPost Deliveries service to have their items sent to their most convenient post office.
“We would like to thank the community for their continued support and patience, and encourage customers with any questions about their mail to contact us on 13 POST.”