Australia Post hits the wrong note with tourist
PERTH university lecturer Joe Collard didn't think he would have trouble sending a didgeridoo by post from the North Coast to his home in Western Australia.
Joe, 30, had been on a working holiday on the North Coast.
A mate of his at Lismore gave him the didgeridoo as a gift.
He didn't want to carry the 1.5m long didge through his next stops at Sydney, Dubbo and Melbourne.
But Australia Post staff at Lismore and Ballina post offices said he could not post the didge because it was too long.
However, Ballina did say he could post the instrument from Byron Bay.
Joe had no time to go to Byron Bay.
His flight south yesterday left from Ballina, with the didge on board as luggage.
"The didgeridoo is supposed to be an Australian icon," he said.
"It's poor service, especially in a tourist area."
Corporate Public Affairs officer for Australia Post, Joshua Zugajev, said yesterday there was a short time, leading up to the Sydney 2000 Olympic games, when Australia Post provided a special service from Byron Bay, which allowed tourists to buy didgeridoos and send them through the mail.
"This special service is no longer provided," Mr Zugajev said.
"It's regrettable that Ballina Post Shop staff were unaware this was the case, and provided Mr Collard with incorrect information.
"Some size restrictions must apply to what can be sent through the mail.
"Mail is loaded into square steel containers about 110cm high, wide and deep, that stack on top of each other when loaded into trucks.
"To ensure a mail item is safely protected within the container, we can't accept items for posting which exceed 105cm in length, such as Mr Collard's 150cm didgeridoo.
"We would not want to accept an over-size item and knowingly risk damaging it."