Stamps go up in price

WRITING a personal letter to a friend or a loved one may cost more than just time.

As of yesterday, Australia Post has raised the cost of the basic postage rate stamp from 55 to 60 cents Australia-wide.

This move will not affect the majority of communicators who use email and SMS as their preferred medium, however some people believe the increased cost of stamps will place added pressure on the dying art of handwritten personal letters.

Betty Fernance says she writes three or four letters a week to her friends and family, as well as The Northern Star.

“I buy 50 stamps at a time and I think it's terrible,” she said.

“I really love writing letters. It's a much more personal form of communicating.

“Ringing up just isn't the same.”

Australian Post's decision to raise the cost of stampsalso affects stamp collectors such as Barry and Diane Cooper, who own Coopers Book Exchange in Ballina.

“It affects us because we spend $4000 to $5000 on stamps a year,” Mr Cooper said. “But compared with petrol, electricity and banks, it's still fairly cheap.”

In the past 18 years there have been only three increases in the price of stamps in Australia. The cost of providing the basic mail service to customers usually exceeds the price of the stamps themselves.

“Australia Post benefits more from collectors because they receive the money without needing to provide the service.” Mr Cooper said.

“There's still a lot of interest in stamp collecting.

“We have an auction next Saturday with people from all over Australia bidding.”

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