Regulator clears Aust Post stamp hike

Proposed price hikes on the cost of sending a letter through Australia Post have been given the all-clear by the consumer and competition regulator.

Australia Post plans to increase its basic postage rate on its ordinary letter service by 9.1 per cent, according to a draft proposal put forward by the company earlier this year.

In the draft plan, the cost of sending a small letter will rise from $1.10 to $1.20.

Ordinary large letters weighing up to 125 grams will also increase from $2.20 to $2.40, and ordinary large letters weighing 125 to 250 grams will rise from $3.30 to $3.60.

Stamps for sending Christmas cards will remain 65 cents, and concession stamps will also not increase in price, remaining at 60 cents.

On Friday, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said it did not object to the increases, as Australia Post would only be taking in enough to cover its own costs.

"The combination of declining letter volumes and an increasing number of delivery points around the country has increased the cost of delivering letters," ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey said in a statement.

The ACCC had acknowledged inflation, and the current cost-of living pressures faced by Australians and small business owners while making its decision.

"The average Australian sends about 15 letters each year, meaning the increase is likely to cost about $1.50 per year for people without a concession card," Ms Brakey said.

Australia Post will also be required to take the draft to Communications Minister Michelle Rowland, who could veto the proposal.

Australia Post welcomed the comments from the ACCC, saying it will now lodge a formal application with the regulator and begin taking steps so the increases can take effect next year.

The increase would be the first to the basic postage rate since 2020.

Australia Post is a self-funded business that pays dividends to the government and receives no ongoing government funding.

If approved, the price rises will begin in January next year.