Lambton could soon have Australia Post services restored if a newsagency gains a stamp of approval from the federally owned corporation.
The old Lambton Post Office closed in February and residents have since used the New Lambton Post Office.
The sudden closure left many residents dismayed about not being able to collect parcels and pay bills locally.
One such resident was Trish Sellar, who has lived in Lambton for 13 years. So disappointed was Ms Sellar about the loss of the local post office, she explored the possibility of reopening one.
“I used to use it all the time,” Ms Sellar said.
“I know how painful it is not having it there and having to go to other suburbs to use theirs. Twenty years ago I had my own newsagency, so I thought I’m going to take the opportunity and do it.”
Ms Sellar, 47, and her family have been renovating the Elder Street premises to reopen as Lambton Nextra newsagency and hope to operate an Australia Post outlet once opened in September.
She said the response has been “amazing” with locals coming into the unfinished store and “hugging her” to express their gratitude.
“There’s a lot of elderly people here who don’t want to go to supermarkets or shopping centres,” she said.
“They walk to the street because it’s such a community area. They’re all very happy it’s coming back, we’ve just got to get that [fully] licenced post office back.”
Ms Sellar has had to apply for her own Australia Post licence as the suburb’s previous one was unavailable.
Applying for a licence has been difficult, as Australia Post has different levels of operation. An operator usually starts out with a ‘community’ licence, which allows for mail services.
Ms Sellar, however, is trying to attain a ‘local community’ licence, which would allow for banking and bill paying services as well.
“It will build from that to a [full] licence,” she said. “There’s all different stages you’ve got to go through.
“Once they see people are using it and it’s feasible, they’ll give me that licence.”
Federal Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon said she had been working with Australia Post to restore the service.
“Like many residents, I’ve been frustrated it has taken so long to get to this point,” Ms Claydon said.
“My priority now is to ensure the people of Lambton have postal services up and running as soon as possible. Once the doors are open, I expect Australia Post to honour its commitment to work with the licensee to open up the full breadth of postal services as a matter of priority.”
Australia Post said it “is committed to reinstating postal services in the Lambton community and expect to have services up and running by the end of the year”.
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