DAN Himbrechtsaap

Price hike in the post, with a $1 stamp on the cards

POSTAL customers could soon face having to pay $1 to buy a stamp, almost doubling their cost, with Australia Post applying for the price hike.

The nation's struggling postal service this week applied to the corporate regulator to increase the cost of stamps by about 40%.

It has also asked the consumer watchdog to approve the 30 cent rise in the cost, as it struggles to adjust to falling letter volumes and rises in package deliveries driven by increasing internet shopping.

If the application before ASIC succeeds, the delivery cost of large letters of up to 250gm would rise from $2.10 to $3, but the price of concessional stamps would stay at 60 cents.

The price rise bid follows a move earlier this year by the postal service to switch from the existing same-day service to deliveries of letters every second day, and to set up a new priority service for those wanting express deliveries.

Those changes would start early next year, the same timetable for the increased stamps price, if the regulator approve the applications.

The postal service argues price rises are essential to cover falling revenues.