September 19, 2016
• Keep Me Posted campaign raises awareness of companies charging customers to receive paper bills and statements
• Households can pay up to $180 each year
• Rural and regional residents without internet more likely to be affected
People living in regional and rural areas are asking not to be penalised for receiving paper-based bills and statements.
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester recently met with advocates from Keep Me Posted, a group seeking community and political support to end additional fees being charged to receive a paper bill.
The campaign also highlights how people living without the internet at home are unfairly penalised for receiving paper-based bills, when they have no other option.
“There are many people in regional and rural areas who don’t have access to the internet at home, and paper bills are their only option for receiving correspondence from utilities, banks and government organisations,” Mr Chester said.
“These people incur out of pocket expenses that those with the internet do not, often through no fault of their own.
“While I understand companies will need to recoup postage costs, it is important that cost is not inflated, and people have the right to choose to continue receiving paper bills.”
Mr Chester said he continued to use paper-based mail for formal correspondence, supporting Gippsland’s largest private employer, Australian Paper.
“I prefer paper-based mail as my main form of communicating with constituents, using envelopes and paper made at Australian Paper Maryvale,” Mr Chester said.
“There are many others who prefer to receive mail as opposed to electronic statements and I support their right to choose to continue to do so, without being charged excessive amounts.”
The Keep Me Posted advocacy group includes representatives of workers at Australian Paper Maryvale. The group is calling for changes under the Australian Consumer Law Review and has been approved to make a late submission that will be included in the final report.
CAPTION: Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester with members of the Keep Me Posted advocacy group, which included Kellie Northwood, Executive Director Keep Me Posted; Anthony Pavey, CFMEU Secretary Maryvale Sub-Branch; Colin Ormsby, Fair Go for Pensioners; and Carole Sarasa, Keep Me Posted Campaign Coordinator.