Australia Post’s contract with the Federal Government to process passport applications expires in June 2017 and travel agents are reported to be among those trying to pick it up.
The contract is worth about AUD 120 million a year and Australia Post has held it for 30 years, the Australian reports.
Pharmacists are also bidding for the contract. Not that it will necessarily move from Australia Post, because the post office network is said to be pursuing a renewal of the contract as well.
An article in the Australian quoted Luke Crawford, from Travelstartup, confirming he was bidding for the work “to help divert customers from online travel agencies into bricks-and-mortar agencies”.
Crawford sees passports as a sure-fire advantage that bricks-and-mortar agencies could hold over online rivals. It would certainly be a valuable way of drawing people through the doors.
Coles and Woolworths have denied they plan to bid, the Australian reported, but at least one big pharmacy chain is after the business.
It’s too late to apply now – expressions of interest closed with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 27 April 2016.
Written by Peter Needham