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Power to the people: postcode change a win for farmers

November 21st, 2017 | | Accommodation

What’s in a number? A lot if you’re a farmer in regional Australia crying out for seasonal workers. We recently published a story on the farmers of Mount Binga, Queensland lobbying for a change in their postcode so that they would be considered a regional town.

It has been a decade long appeal with Australia Post, but from February 1, 2018, these small towns will finally lose the 4306 postcode and be classified as rural.

Mount Binga will now be part of the 4314 postcode, which will include Avoca Vale, Benarkin, Blackbutt, Cherry Creek, Colinton, Gilla, Googa Creek, Harlin, Linville, Moore, Mount Stanley, Nukku, Taromeo and Teelah.

Maranoa MP David Littleproud was thrilled to announce the change. “When I was elected in September last year, one of the first phone calls I received as the new MP was from Blackbutt residents who’d been campaigning for years for a new postcode and today I’m proud to deliver them a win,” Mr Littleproud said.

“South Burnett producers often employ backpackers as an important part of their workforce but in another 4306 consequence, this region wasn’t recognised as rural,” he said.

“As part of the working holiday visa, backpackers can extend their visa by working on a rural farm but when farmers tried to extend the backpackers’ visa to continue working on their property, they experienced difficulties because 4306 is recognised as a metropolitan code, not rural.

“Quite frankly, this inequity was a joke and I’m glad Australia Post has listened to this community and we’ve been successful.”

In the past the postcode has been referred to on social media as “the postcode from hell” as it covers more than 50 suburbs, towns or localities, is spread across four federal electorates and takes in six different council areas. The area includes rural and suburban zones and covers two separate regions that do not even share a border.

It’s not just regional Queensland experiencing these postcode woes. In NSW, the farmers of the Central Coast Plateau share the same frustrations as they are covered by the same postcode as Gosford — and therefore deemed to be part of a regional city.

Australia Post had reviewed the Central Coast postcode but decided any change of postcode would negatively impact on service delivery. The Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection is currently discussing ways to resolve this issue for Plateau farmers.

Is this a victory for the little guys? Have your say.

Sourced by Alex Harmon

Source: South Burnett Times