The Banana community rallied together to campaign for a solution to the closed Post Office. Photo Emma Clarke / Central Telegraph
The Banana community rallied together to campaign for a solution to the closed Post Office. Photo Emma Clarke / Central Telegraph Emma Clarke

Banana Post Office shuts its doors

LETTERS from loved ones, post cards and bills no longer reach the mail boxes of Banana residents.

Instead they are left sitting in plastic tubs at Moura waiting for customers to drive 20 minutes from Banana to collect them.

That is the service Banana residents are expected to tolerate after Australia Post gave them only one day's notice that the Banana post office would be locked up.

The post office closed its doors in late August after the existing owner chose to move on and Australia Post couldn't find anybody to take over.

A source has revealed Australia Post was given three months' notice to find a new owner.

Central Telegraph this week heard customers received a letter from Australia Post on the Thursday, telling them the post office would close at 5pm the next day.

"Unfortunately, despite an extensive search, we have been unable to find a suitable operator or premises in the area... however we are continuing to investigate alternative arrangements," the letter read.

"It's a mess, a disappointment and a massive loss," Banana resident Petria Dufty said.

Mrs Dufty is campaigning to have a post service returned to the town.

"We deserve a service," she said.

"We are a town with a post code and should have a mail service, we're not asking for the world.

"Our mail is taken to Moura where it is kept in plastic tubs.

"It's ridiculous to receive a slip of paper in the mail to say there would be no more come Monday."

The Banana Hotel was lined up to administer the town's mail, but Australia Post re-negotiated on that as well, the day before construction was due to go ahead.

"Everyone was happy to have it at the hotel and Australia Post offered no explanation as to why it couldn't go there," Mrs Dufty said.

"The community thought we would have a service in town and next minute it's gone for no apparent reason."

Banana business owner Darren Stevens said the mail run, which used to be a quick errand, now took more than an hour and was a trip he made twice a week.

"There are questions we want answered," he said.

"Why didn't it stay and why won't they let it go to the pub?

"It's an essential service to everyone so why couldn't it stay here in Banana?

"At the end of the day, we just want some answers.

"We have contacted Australia Post, but have had no answers and we're at a bit of a dead end."

Banana Shire Councillor Maureen Clancy said she was helping the community search for answers.

"We have no idea what's happening and we are all working hard to get the mail service back to Banana," Mrs Clancy said.

A spokesperson for Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said the office had received no "substantial" complaints and had not been given information from Australia Post.

A spokesperson for Australia Post said residents and businesses would be kept updated of any further changes to the mail service.

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