Australia Post is a:
- Corporate Commonwealth Entity for the purposes of the PGPA Act.
Australia Post is wholly owned by the Australian Government represented by two Shareholder Ministers, the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts.
The enabling legislation for Australia Post is the Australian Postal Corporation Act 1989, some key features of which include:
- establishes the main function of Australia Post in providing postal services
- establishes subsidiary functions to carry on businesses or activity relating to postal services
- establishes incidental businesses and activities functions
- confirms a broad range of powers for Australia Post which are relevant to its function
- establishes the role of the board in deciding the objectives, strategies and policies to be followed by Australia Post and to ensure it performs its functions in a proper, efficient manner which, as far as practicable, is consistent with sound commercial practice
- community service obligations including the requirement to ensure the letter service is reasonably accessible to all people in Australia on an equitable basis, and that the performance standards reasonably meet the social, industrial and commercial needs of the Australian community
- authorises the relevant Minister to issue directions to the Australia Post Board on certain matters
- factors to be considered in determining dividends and
- permits Australia Post to borrow funds from the Commonwealth or other persons.
Australia Post does not have a separate constitution.
Australia Post and its wholly-owned subsidiaries are subject to a Commercial Freedoms Framework.
Australia Post is wholly-owned by the Commonwealth.
Australia Post has debt on issue in the form of:
- corporate bonds and
- a revolving bank credit facility.
Unique industry regulatory features
Australia Post has the exclusive right to carry letters (with some exceptions) and issue stamps within Australia, with a uniform service standard and price across the country.
Australia Post's performance standards in mail delivery are outlined in the Australian Postal Corporation (Performance Standards) Regulations 2019.
Investigation of Australia Post
On 22 October 2020, the Australian Government announced that the Department of Finance and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications will undertake an investigation into Australia Post’s governance arrangements and corporate culture concerning the proper use and management of public resources.
The Terms of Reference for the investigation are available on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website.