At least one families’ same-sex marriage postal survey forms were among more than four months of mail left undelivered in a postbox in regional Victoria that was neglected by Australia Post.
The town of Beechworth in Victoria’s north-east share just two post boxes between its 3,859 residents, the ABC reported, and local residents Joanne and Mick Westra had been told by clients of their family plumbing business they hadn’t received their invoices.
“We had noticed that some of our customers had fallen behind in their payments. At the same time we had started to get an increasing number of customers saying that they had not received their monthly statements,” they explained in a post on their business’ Facebook page.
“Unfortunately we have discovered that the post box on Junction Rd had not been cleared since October.”
But the Westras said the most upsetting of all of the undelivered mail was the marriage postal survey forms the family had tried to return in October.
“Three of them from my family were posted in that mailbox and it was never cleared,” Ms Westra told the ABC.
“And that’s close to our hearts, because we do have a gay son. And we didn’t support him in the postal vote.”
A sign posted on the post office box in October announced a change in the box’s daily clearing time, but from that date forward the post box hadn’t been cleared at all.
After Australia Post were notified about the delay, a local employee was “horrified” to find two crates worth of undelivered mail inside.
Australia Post apologised and returned the mail to its senders, and compensated local residents with a $50 mail order voucher and $200 worth of stamps.
“Australia Post wholeheartedly apologises for the error. We can confirm all the mail has now been delivered with a letter of explanation and apology,” an Australia Post spokesperson told the ABC.
“This is an isolated incident that occurred when the collection route was handed over to a different team.
“We began clearing the street posting box again three weeks ago.”