Australia Post reveals deadlines for Christmas delivery

Not to alarm you, but do you realise there are just under eight weeks until Christmas? If you haven’t started your shopping, you might be in for a shock – particularly if you need to post gifts. Here’s what you need to know to ensure presents for absent family and friends get there on time.

2021 has been, quite frankly, stressful. The pandemic we thought we’d beaten in 2020 came roaring back and large parts of the nation were again plunged into lockdown. But thanks to climbing vaccination rates, we can look forward to Christmas with loved ones.

Retailers have been warning for weeks about delays in stock and deliveries due to pandemic restrictions and industrial action.

Australia Post had to pause parcel deliveries in September due to demand.

Chief executive Gary Starr told The New Daily Australia Post has been preparing for the end-of-year rush, hiring more than 4000 Christmas casuals, adding extra air freight capacity and weekend deliveries.

And now, Australia Post has revealed the deadlines you’ll need to meet to get your gifts delivered in time for the big day.

  • To send a parcel within Australia (regular post): Needs to be posted no later than 13 December.
  • To send a parcel within Australia (express post): No later than 20 December.
  • To send a parcel to/from Western Australia and/or the Northern Territory: No later than 8 December.
  • To send a Christmas card within your state: No later than 20 December.
  • To send a Christmas card interstate: No later than 16 December.

If you’re sending presents overseas, cut-off dates will vary depending on the destination. Check out Australia Post’s international deliveries page for more detailed information.

Christmas stamps
The national postal service has also launched a new line of festive Christmas-themed stamps with designs it says will appeal to everybody. This year’s batch features gingerbread Christmas decorations, traditional religious themes and even Santa visiting Christmas Island.

“Each year, we always strive to ensure there is something for everyone with our Christmas stamps,” says Australia Post philatelic group manager Michael Zsolt.

“The stamps are always popular, and the Christmas Island stamps in particular are a great way to bring a real sense of fun to any Christmas card delivery.

“This year, our The Elf on the Shelf and Disney Christmas-themed licensed stamp packs are also sure to be a hit with families.”

Cranky customers
There have been reports from angry customers in Western Australia that they are being forced to buy back items that were unable to be delivered. Items included LED TVs, cartons of beer, mobile phones and other electronic devices.

“This is totally unacceptable,” one customer said.

“Most of these items were lost by Australia Post and now they’re trying to sell them back to us. How disgraceful.”

A spokesman for Australia Post said items were auctioned only after extensive efforts to reunite parcels with the owners.

“If an item can’t be delivered due to incorrect addressing and can’t be returned to sender, it is sent to a Mail Redistribution Centre (MRC),” the spokesperson told Yahoo! News.

“At the MRC, the item will be opened, catalogued and stored for two months. This catalogue is accessible by our contact centre team who will use it to reunite customers with their missing mail.

“If the two-month retention period lapses and the item hasn’t been claimed, all identifying markings are removed and the item will be auctioned with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to charity.”

Have you got your Christmas shopping sorted? What would you think if Australia Post auctioned off your parcel? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Written by Brad Lockyer