Policy on the Postal System

If we are elected as the Australian Government or a State Government, we will bring in Pneumatic Mail Delivery. Every home in a city or town will have a mail delivery station, that will be linked to the post office by an underground tube. Your mail will be placed in an aluminium cylinder, and will be propelled along the underground network by compressed air. You will be able to post letters at your home, by putting them in a cylinder, and placing the cylinder in your mail delivery station.

The system will also be able to deliver newspapers, small parcels, and takeaway food. You could order a pizza over the internet, and have it arrive by pneumatic tube a few minutes later. The pizza would be cut into quarters, and each quarter stacked one on top of the other in a special box to fit in the cylinder. The system will allow a cylinder to go from any home or business in a city to any other home or business.

Pneumatic Mail Delivery was first used by the French in Paris in the early Nineteenth Century. Post offices were linked by the system, and if you wanted to send a message, you could send a “pneumatique”. This was later replaced by telegrams. The Czechs still have an extensive pneumatic mail delivery system in Prague.

The Liberal and Labor parties will no doubt argue that Pneumatic Mail Delivery is an extravagance, just as the ruling parties in developing countries insist that tar-sealed roads are an extravagance. When night-soil carts were replaced by flush toilets and sewerage pipes, no doubt this was considered something out of science fiction. Anything that increases efficiency is never a waste of money.

At present, mail can be intercepted and read by the Australian Government without a warrant. People who are having their mail read include members of parliament, business tycoons, actors, rock stars, athletes, activists, and millionaires. Some of the politicians who are being shown intercepted mail are having their own mail intercepted. Often a person’s mail is only being intercepted because the agents who read the mail are fans of the person whose mail they are reading. Undoubtedly the government would be intercepting Kylie Minogue’s mail, even though she is not involved in any illegal activity.

The practice of the government intercepting mail was first exposed by Peter Wright in his book “Spycatcher”. Peter Wright was a communist secret agent who infiltrated the British secret police, MI-5. He trained as a scientist, and became the scientific adviser to the secret police. Later, he fled to Australia and published an exposé of the secret police, in which he accused his former boss of being a Soviet agent. Much of what Wright says in his book is true, including about intercepting mail, and applies as much to Australia as to Britain.

The Australian secret police is called ASIO. They are responsible for the interception of mail. If the police want some mail intercepted, they do not ask Australia Post to intercept it, but rather they ask ASIO to intercept it. ASIO is a very unprofessional organization, and will go out of their way so that people will know their mail is being intercepted. For example, they will delay the delivery of a letter until a deadline mentioned in the letter has passed. ASIO themselves are a serious threat to Australian security.

If any of our candidates are elected to the Australian Parliament, they will introduce a private member’s bill, the Postal Interception Bill. This will apply to Australia Post, the Australian Document Exchange, private couriers, mail box companies, and similar services. It will be illegal to open mail without a warrant. If mail is handed over to government agents, a record will have to be made of the date, time, weight, sender and recipient.

An item handed over to government agents must be given back to Australia Post within 24 hours, otherwise the matter will have to be reported to the Commonwealth Ombudsman. Australia Post will have to include in its annual report to parliament how many articles are being intercepted, and how many members of parliament, lawyers, doctors, academics, entertainers and sportsmen respectively are having their mail intercepted.