The South Eastern Times : March 17th 2015
4 NEWS Australia Post overhaul THE cost of posting a letter is set to rise to $1 as Australia Post needs to make major changes in order to keep the Millicent Post Office open. by the stars Week Commencing: Mar 16 ARIES March 21 - April 20 Social activities make for a lively week. There may be a romantic slowdown, but a platonic relationship may be launched. A recent career decision benefits from consultation and reflection. TAURUS April 21 - May 22 Recent plans backfire but speedy thinking brings a successful alternative solution. Your willpower is strong now and it is a perfect week for all the resolutions you ever wanted to set forth. GEMINI May 23 - June 21 Added work requirements interfere with social butterflying, but be sure you know your priorities. Household problems may require professional expertise. An old friend gets in touch. CANCER June 22 - July 22 Keep rivalries on a professional level, not a personal one. A romantic question seems to defy a solution. The answer is much more obvious than you think. Intuition is generally strong. LEO July 23 - August 22 You can dabble successfully with philosophical matters gaining new insights into relationships and recent events. The financial news is more encouraging now. VIRGO August 23 - September 22 You may find this a difficult time, so far as group activities are concerned. You may find it better on your own this week, keeping your thoughts to yourself. LIBRA September 23 - October 22 A long awaited career or academic opportunity opens up. You may have to make some quick decisions. Domestic obligations can get in the way of weekend plans. SCORPIO October 23 - November 21 Clear up small misunderstandings before they get quite out of hand. Discussion groups provide a venue for meeting new people. In legal affairs, read all the fine print. SAGITTARIUS November 22 - December 22 The accent is on recreation and travel. Enjoy the company of an Aries or Pisces. Make an effort to not be on the defensive and watch out for people trying to intimidate you. CAPRICORN December 23 - January 20 You present a glamorous image, attracting wealthy and/ or witty admirers. Don’t put off visits, appointments or correspondence. AQUARIUS January 21 - February 19 Overseas news offers encouragement A recent plan may backfire and you may have to lay out some extra cash. Your romantic intuition is strong and prestige at the workplace may increase by the end of the week. PISCES February 20 - March 20 A longtime responsibility is finally transferred from your tired shoulders and you can devote more time and energy to trying out new hobbies or earning spare cash. BIRTHDAY THIS WEEK You are practical, articulate, a born teacher and sometimes a little calculating. A delayed personal goal may be achieved, thanks to effort and teamwork. Family decisions affect every member - be an active part of the clan this year. 659401 Look local first for... • Invoice books • Promotional flyers • Letterheads • Business cards Plus more! Millicent E: firstname.lastname@example.org P: 8733 3755 42 Davenport Street 4 - The South Eastern Times, Tuesday, March 17, 2015 Your week Millicent has had a post office at the same location on George Street since 1876. It is one of 4000 around the nation with an uncertain future unless measures are taken. In a media statement, Australia Post has welcomed the Federal Government’s decision to support its request for regulatory reform of its letters service. It said the changes would help keep post offices open - including Australia Post’s vital regional and rural network - keep “posties” delivering mail five days a week and ensure Australians everywhere can continue to access a world-class mail service. They would also help stem growing losses in the mail service caused by changing consumer and business behaviour, which was driving a significant fall in letter volumes. The Federal Government decision allows Australia Post to introduce a new regular letters service delivered two days slower than the current timetable. People wanting to send mail to the existing schedule will pay more for a priority service. Australia Post chief executive Ahmed Fahour said operational efficiencies from the new regular service were critical to sustaining the overall letters service. However, price increases were also needed to better recover the cost of the letters service and avoid cross-subsidisation from the profitable parcels business. He confirmed that Australia Post would seek approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to raise the basic stamp price from 70 Reforms needed to stem letters service revenue loss over 4000 post offices. “We will protect those who most need our support by freezing the price of the concession stamp at the 2010 price of 60 cents. “This is available to 5.7 million Australians. “We will also freeze the Seasonal Greeting or Australian Christmas stamp price at today’s price of 65 cents.” Together concession and Christmas stamp mail accounts for almost half of all mail sent by consumers. IN CHARGE: Millicent postal manager Anne Hughes. cents to $1 to better reflect the total cost of sending a letter. The basic stamp price would apply to the new regular service. Mr Fahour said in order to have a sustainable letters service, the senders of mail needed to bear the cost. Australia Post was not seeking, or expecting, to make profit from the service. “Australia currently has the lowest basic stamp price in the developed world,” Mr Fahour said. “Unfortunately we must raise that price to ensure we can maintain the service, including five-day-a-week delivery and “In fact, up to 97pc of mail is sent by business and government,” Mr Fahour said. “Taxpayers, through Australia Post, can no longer afford to keep subsidising corporate Australia by running a belowcost letters service predominantly for this sector. “Even if the regular stamp price reflected the current total cost of $1, it would remain among the cheapest in the OECD and significantly below comparable countries like Canada, UK and Germany. “The reformed letters service will remain among the cheapest in the developed world, while maintaining one of the highest service standards.” Mr Fahour said the service changes would not be introduced before September. Meanwhile, Australia Post will work with community, staff and customers ahead of their introduction. Mr Fahour announced a national pro- gram of community consultation regarding the implementation of the changes. This will include roundtable meetings with representatives from the broad community and special interest groups such as the elderly, regional and rural Australians, business, government, unions and licensed post office operators. Forestry innovation grant funding open THE third phase of the $27m South East Forestry Partnerships Program, which supports the development of innovative new products and technologies, is now open. The State Government has committed $7.1m to stimulate jobs and investment opportunities in the forest and wood products industry in the region. Forests Minister Leon Bignell said the program presented real opportunities to build a sustainable and productive forest and wood products industry in the South East. “Continuing to build a sustainable industry is fundamental to the economic future of the region,” Mr Bignell said. “The SE Forestry Partnerships Program supports new and existing businesses in the region to retain and create new jobs and develop new markets and opportunities. “Successful projects will be required to match government funding, which means the total regional investment will be more than $14m.” The first phase of the program generated joint investment of $34m in the South East’s forest processing industry, with more than $15m in grants awarded to successful applicants. A further $4.5m funding was awarded in phase two to four projects totalling more than $20m. “New technologies and innovation are at the heart of the SE Forestry Partnerships Program,” Mr Bignell said. “A great example is the Circa Group project funded under phase two, which will see the development of a range of renewable biosolvents in Mount Gambier with potential partnerships with local sawmills.” An industry forum was held in Mount Gambier last month to provide information to potential applicants. Government representatives also met with industry applicants to discuss the application process. Funding is open to applicants who will provide a dedicated service or are located or intending to locate to the South East. Workshops share weed control strategies FARMERS in the Millicent district will get the chance to attend a free workshop on how to deal with weeds. Weeds impact upon farmers’ lives and preventing their spread is one of the most cost-effective actions to prevent further problems and save time and money. Preventing the spread of weeds takes many forms, from checking clothing to large scale decontamination of machinery or asking questions when buying livestock, seed and fodder. Rural Solutions and Natural Resources South East will present free workshops to provide farmers with practical and effective tips which will help to protect agricultural industries and the environment. The workshops will be held at Penola on Monday, March 23, at Millicent on Wednesday, March 25, and at Robe on Thursday, March 26. Topics to be covered during the workshops include problematic local pest plants, plant identification, techniques to minimise pest plant movement and machinery, inspection and hygiene. For more information contact 0428 104 471. www.thesoutheasterntimes.com.au IN BRIEF Festivals gain marketing support APPLICATIONS are open for State Government grants to provide financial and marketing support for events and festivals in regional South Australia. Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said regional events and festivals were integral to tourism in the state. “From premium food and wine events to large scale participation events, these events are designed to bring people to our beautiful regions,” Mr Bignell said. “Regional events and festivals are major drawcards for tourism and have huge economic benefits to the community. “Support provided through the Regional Events and Festivals Program and the Community Events Development Fund are vital for the regions.” The Community Events Development Fund provides events and festivals with a maximum of $5000. Applications close Thursday, March 26.
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