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UPDATE: Gracemere's political ally sways the postcode debate

STILL WAITING: Gracemere residents have pushed for years for a different postcode.
STILL WAITING: Gracemere residents have pushed for years for a different postcode.

UPDATE 4.40PM: THERE'S been a breakthrough in the Gracemere postcode saga.

In response to One Nation issuing their Gracemere postcode press release, a hasty meeting was organised this afternoon in Canberra between an Australia Post representative and One Nation leader Pauline Hanson.

A One Nation spokesman has provided a statement describing the outcome of the meeting.

"Just 24 hours after writing to the Minister for Communications and Senate colleague Mitch Fifield, Australia Post has met with Queensland Senator Pauline Hanson to discuss Gracemere's postcode woes,” he said.

"An Australian post representative attended Senator Hanson's office this afternoon to discuss the concerns of 12,000 Gracemere residents after receiving word the Senator had written to Minister Fifield.”

Ms Hanson said "he admitted this was the first time Gracemere had been brought to his attention”.

Earlier this year Australia Post approved a change for Yaraka, which also shared the postcode with Gracemere and 83 other towns across Queensland.

"An Australia Post representative attended Senator Hanson's office this afternoon to discuss the concerns of 12,000 Gracemere residents after receiving word the Senator had written to Minister Fifield.”

Ms Hanson said "he admitted this was the first time Gracemere had been brought to his attention”.

Earlier this year Australia Post approved a change for Yaraka, which also shared the postcode with Gracemere and 83 other towns across Queensland.

Ms Hanson said Australia Post said they would look into the matter of granting Gracemere its own postcode after she explained the current population and projected growth of the town, along with the issues the community had been facing under the current postcode arrangement.

"I've been told the review will take approximately 3 months, with a 12 month changeover period should Australia Post agree to the change,” Ms Hanson said.

"I put forward a strong argument and I have no doubt they will come back to the people of Gracemere with the right outcome.”

An Australia Post spokesman has also released a statement regarding the push for a postcode.

"We acknowledge the results of Rockhampton Regional Council's survey and are closely monitoring the mail delivery needs of the local Gracemere area,” he said.

"Australia Post has reviewed postcode 4702 several times.

"While local councils define the boundaries of the localities they administer, we assign postcodes within those areas based on the needs of the delivery network. Postcodes are used to efficiently process, transport and deliver mail to local residents.”

The spokesman said Australia Post would only make changes to postcodes if there are operational requirements to do so.

"The use of postcodes by other parties and service providers for their own purposes does not influence Australia Post's operational decisions regarding postcode allocation,” he said.

The spokesman also denied One Nation's contention that their representative didn't know about the Gracemere postcode issue saying he was fully aware of the issue and simply wanted to know more about the township.

EARLIER: ONE of Australia's most prominent politicians has joined the fight to get Gracemere a new postcode.

After urging from former One Nation candidate for Rockhampton Wade Rothery, Senator Pauline Hanson has lent her political profile to support to the thousands of Gracemere locals trying to convince Australia Post to assign their town a unique postcode.

Pauline Hanson believes Gracemere needs a different postcode.
Pauline Hanson believes Gracemere needs a different postcode. Leighton Smith

In early 2017, Rockhampton Regional Council was presented with a petition from Gracemere residents asking to lobby Australia Post for its own postcode to replace the current 4702 and were told by Australia Post that a unique post code for Gracemere is not an option due to the low number of postal deliveries to the area.

READ: Gracemere begin fight for postcode change

In August, RRC surveyed residents on whether they wanted the postcode to change from 4702 to 4700 and Mayor Margaret Strelow said the call for change was clear.

READ: Results in from Gracemere postcode survey

Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow and councillor Ellen Smith whose division covers Gracemere looking at the postcode survey results
Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow and councillor Ellen Smith whose division covers Gracemere looking at the postcode survey results Kerri-Anne Mesner

"We received 1,924 surveys back from the community and 69 per cent of respondents supported a change from 4702 to 4700,” Cr Strelow said.

"The community has spoken and Council will now take the necessary steps to progress the matter.”

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Senator Hansen said the number of people who reside in the areas covered by Gracemere's shared postcode were among the highest in the country for a single postcode.

"Currently Gracemere shares the postcode 4702 with 84 other townships, stretching over 371km from the inland town of the Gemfields, to the seaside town of Joskeleigh,” Senator Hanson said in her letter to the Communications Minister.

She argued it was unfair that Gracemere locals were hurt financially because they shared a postcode with townships hundreds of kilometres away.

Ms Hanson found it difficult to understand how a place like Cooladdi, which had a population of around 15 people, had its own postcode yet Australia Post demanded towns like Gracemere and 84 others share one.

CQ VISIT: Pauline Hanson has visited CQ several times over the past couple of months to listen to the concerns of locals.
CQ VISIT: Pauline Hanson has visited CQ several times over the past couple of months to listen to the concerns of locals. Leighton Smith

"Sharing postcodes with such a vast number of communities, stretching over hundreds of kilometres is having its effect on banking, financial companies, insurers and freight companies who often base their quoting and determinations on postcodes,” Ms Hanson said.

"Australia Post has the power to introduce, retire or change postcodes at any time but despite valiant efforts by Gracemere locals, so far all their best efforts have been ignored.

"A local petition of over 2000 residents has been ignored by Australia Post as residents seek a unique postcode for their township.”

According to Senator Hanson, for a fast growing town of Gracemere's size there was no excuse for Australia Post to ignore the sensible arguments that have been put forward and continue to inflict unnecessary economic suffering on the region.

NEW POSTCODE: Senator Pauline Hanson has written to the federal Communications Minister in support of Gracemere's postcode change cause.
NEW POSTCODE: Senator Pauline Hanson has written to the federal Communications Minister in support of Gracemere's postcode change cause. Leighton Smith

"The township has grown beyond the dirt tracks of the 1960's into a satellite city of 12,000 residents, just 14km from the centre of Rockhampton,” Ms Hanson said.

"I am seeking your assistance to grant the residents of Gracemere a change in postcode and would welcome a visit to the Central Queensland town to see and hear residents overwhelming passion on the matter.

"My door is always open and I look forward to your response.”

After The Morning Bulletin brought to the attention of Australia The Morning

Rockhampton Mayor Strelow responded to news of Ms Hanson's interest in Gracemere's postcode plight.

"We welcome Senator Hanson's support for our continued push to secure a Gracemere postcode change,” Cr Strelow said.

"Now the election is over, Council will be looking for letters of support from other politicians.

"It is critical that we keep up the pressure as it is by no means certain that Australia Post will grant our community's wish.”

Minister Fifield and Australia Post have been contacted regarding this story and their updates will be added as they come to hand.

List of suburbs which also share the postcode 4702:

  • Alberta
  • Alsace
  • Alton Downs
  • Anakie
  • Argoon
  • Balcomba
  • Banana
  • Baralaba
  • Barnard
  • Bingegang
  • Blackdown
  • Bluff
  • Boolburra
  • Bouldercombe
  • Bushley
  • Canal Creek
  • Canoona
  • Cawarral
  • Central Queensland Mail Centre
  • Comet
  • Consuelo
  • Coomoo
  • Coorooman
  • Coowonga
  • Dalma
  • Dingo
  • Dixalea
  • Dululu
  • Dumpy Creek
  • Etna Creek
  • Gainsford
  • Garnant
  • Gindie
  • Glenroy
  • Gogango
  • Goomally
  • Goovigen
  • Goowarra
  • Gracemere
  • Jambin
  • Jardine
  • Jellinbah
  • Joskeleigh
  • Kabra
  • Kalapa
  • Keppel Sands
  • Kokotungo
  • Kunwarara
  • Mackenzie, Central Highlands
  • Marmor
  • Midgee
  • Milman
  • Mimosa
  • Morinish South
  • Morinish
  • Mount Chalmers
  • Nine Mile
  • Parkhurst
  • Pheasant Creek
  • Pink Lily
  • Ridgelands
  • Rolleston
  • Rossmoya
  • Rubyvale
  • Sapphire
  • Shoalwater
  • Smoky Creek
  • South Yaamba
  • Stanage
  • Stanwell
  • Stewarton
  • The Caves
  • The Gemfields
  • Thompson Point
  • Tungamull
  • Ulogie
  • Wallaroo
  • Westwood
  • Willows Gemfields
  • Willows
  • Woolein
  • Wooroona
  • Wowan
  • Wycarbah
  • Yaraka

Topics:  australian bureau of statistics gracemere postcode gracemere postcode change margaret strelow mitch fifield one nation pauline hanson rockhampton regional council tmbpolitics



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