Tower Systems is a small business. We serve independently owned small businesses. We also own a newsagency. It’s for those reasons that I re publish below a blog entry I have made in another place about the comments yesterday by Federal Finance Minister Nick Minchin that the Government does not have the sale of Australia Post on it’s agenda. This is bad news for small business and further supports my view that this government does not genuinely care about small business. Here’s the blog entry:

The Sydney Morning Herald carries an AAP report that Federal Government Finance Minister, Nick Minchin, was asked yesterday at the National Press Club whether Australia Post would be privatised. He listed the various government businesses which are for sale or being readied for sale and commented: “There are a few other smaller business that could be considered but we’ve not turned our mind to Australia Post and we have no policy to do so.”

That the government owns a retail network that competes directly with independently owned small business newsagents is appalling. Australia Post is a tough competitor. They target newsagents with their promotions. They have only commenced this competition in fairly recent years. They are leveraging the goodwill of the postal service to hurt this already challenged small business channel.

While the mail delivery and stamp production should be controlled by the government, the retail network should be completely sold off. Some have been but not all.

Nick Minchin and the Government are wrong on this. Their refusal to even consider the sale of the retail network is proof of a lack of commitment to small business. Here they are profiting from exacting commercial success in a competition with newsagents.

A true free enterprise government would allow free enterprise to operate rather than allowing its own retail stores to profit from the customer traffic which MUST go to their retail outlets because of draconian controls on the sale of postage stamps.

Nick Minchin and the Federal Government ought to sell the retail network to individuals or to small businesses. This would demonstrate support for the small business sector.

My own newsagency is directly opposite a government owned Australia Post shop. They compete aggressively for stationery, greeting cards, phone recharge, Western Union and bill payment. They do so on unfair terms. They get better landlord treatment. They have guaranteed traffic. They control how their store is laid out. They leverage their government protected monopoly traffic so they can sell products which are crucial to my success.