. Australian Stamp Collecting, Concession stamps of Australia.



On March 24th, 2014, a new field of stamp collecting opened in Australia,
with the release of the first Australian non-denominational stamp.

In the words of Australia Post these stamps were introduced to help eligible Australians
stay connected in the ever changing world of mail.

The stamps featured images of Australia, a kangaroo on a sandy beach at sunset and an outline of our nation inscribed in the sand.
The stamp designs were by John White (Kangaroo) MDM Design (Map), printed by RA Printing Paper s/a Avery Dennison B100 s/a by lithography and the layout was a self adhesive sheetlet of five.

Those people eligible to obtain the concessional rate simply fill out an application form, giving address and concession card details and hand it in at a Post Office. Details are entered on the computer and a printout handed back to the applicant.
Each eligible applicant is entitled to 10 sheetlets per year at the discounted rate, $3 per sheet instead of $3.50, and a record of numbers purchased are included on the receipt given at the time of purchase.
The receipt illustrated below shows that two booklets have been bought and the remaining entitlement is eight.

The sheetlet was also available as a philatelic item at the RRP of $3.95, the stamps being sold at the current rate of 70c each ($3.50) plus the 45c additional charge for the pack. Thus collectors could purchase them even though not being eligible for the concession rate.

The application form was actioned by Australia Post on 3 April 2014, the envelope was marked SWLF 04AAPR14 ML 52 and delivered on 8 April 2014.
The MyPOST card was enclosed, along with a sheetlet of concession stamps.

I have inserted the words name and number, to replace the actual details printed on the card, to preserve anonimity

It seemed to me, at the time, that this would be a new collecting interest that would be interesting, cheap to keep up to date and with limited issues.

However, I had overlooked the propensity of Australia Post with their acumen at finding ways of getting money out of collector - even if they were pensioners.

The publicity flier for "The 2014 Collection of Australian Stamps" is illustrated below. So much for my idea of being cheap to collect. If I wanted the mini sheet contained in the collection I would either have to purchase the whole collection (what would I do with all the 'left overs'?) or wait for the sheet to become available from dealers at a price well over face value.

It seems that I can now get the mini-sheet from a dealer for about $10.
However, I feel that I should have been able to buy it over the counter for face value.
Having worked in Australia Post for many years and for much of the time as Philatelic Officer,
I long ago reached the stage where I can no longer defend A.P. and their policies.

Do I 'Put up and shut up' or just admit that yet another collecting interest hits the skids?

Decision made - I have put up, but will shut down, the collection.

As if to reinforce my decision Australia Post continued with this, (in my opinion), design abomination!

Nuff said!

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