Geoff Hassall and Alan Elvin from the Wallsend Heritage Group in front of the old Wallsend post office, where they want the old postbox to be placed. WALLSEND residents are concerned Australia Post won’t agree to relocate their historically significant postbox to the town’s heritage precinct after restorative work is complete.
Two years ago Australia Post removed the heritage postbox from its most recent location in Metcalfe Street so restorative work could begin.
The work involves sandblasting, correcting cracks in the metalwork, painting and the addition of decorative touches.
However, many locals – including Wallsend Heritage Group secretary Geoff Hassall – thought there was nothing wrong with the condition of the postbox in the first place.
In a statement released to The Star last month, Australia Post said it planned to return the postbox by the year’s end.
Mr Hassall said the news was positive, but the issue now was where they would decide to put the postbox.
According to Australia Post’s policy, historical postboxes are reinstated to their original locations.
However, in this case the original location on Thomas Street is now a roadway, according to Mr Hassall.
“It must be in our heritage precinct to best be a visual reminder of heritage, not on the side of an increasingly busy thoroughfare where it will be at great risk of damage,” he said.
Last month, Greens senator Lee Rhiannon visited Newcastle and said she would back the group and their wish for the postbox to be in the heritage precinct.
Prior to this Australia Post told Greens politician John Sutton the postbox would be reinstated in as close proximity as possible to the Metcalfe Street location from which it was removed.
Mr Sutton said he was pleased the postbox would not go back to the unsuitable Thomas Street location, but the solution was not ideal because Metcalfe Street is not located in the historic precinct.
“Australia Post has a reasonable policy in normal circumstances, but Metcalfe Street is not historic and has no connection to the postbox,” he said.
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