Metro Christmas shoppers wanting to help drought-stricken towns have heeded calls to buy from regional sellers as bush posties report a rise in the number of packages being sent and increased demand for parcel boxes and satchels.
Australia Post metro/rural west NSW area manager Tim Lennon said Licensed Post Offices in regional NSW had already seen a jump in activity from their local businesses, with growing demand for boxes and satchels.
It's flowing from the Buy from the Bush social media movement, the NSW government's Buy Regional webpage and other campaigns encouraging the city to support communities in drought.
Australia Post data for the first few weeks of November indicates some outlets are sending 30 per cent more parcels compared to their daily average, which is equal to about 60-70 extra parcels per day.
Dubbo, Narromine, Trangie and Warren are among the post offices that have seen jumps in parcel volume sent by businesses.
Businesses at Trangie have recently been sending up to 10 parcels a day, the data shows.
Mr Lennon says Australia Post is offering shipping cost discounts to some existing and new MyPost Business customers in drought-affected areas and 170 small businesses have already signed up.
"There's no doubt that the #buyregional and #buyfromthebush campaigns have struck a chord with the public, who are responding in the best way possible, by buying products from regional sellers who are doing it tough because of the drought," Mr Lennon said.
"The lead up to Christmas is always an extremely busy time for Australia Post but the increased workload that these campaigns have created is one we're more than happy to take on, given how it's making such a positive difference to people's lives.
"We're encouraging regional business owners to have a chat with their local post office if they need a hand getting parcels on their way and also for customers to download the Australia Post app so they can track parcels and set their delivery preferences."
#buyfromthebush, #Thankful4Farmers and #OneDayCloserToRain, #BuyRegional is shining a spotlight on the world-class food, craft, fashion and art on offer across our regions ...
Retailers from Dubbo are some of the more than 225 businesses featured on Buy Regional, the NSW Government webpage making it easy to find the perfect Christmas gift and support regional NSW.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said sellers wanting to be listed on the webpage had inundated Buy Regional, which had recorded almost a quarter of a million page views less than a month after going live.
"The NSW government launched Buy Regional last month to help connect city shoppers with businesses in the bush, where local customers are tightening their belts and spending less due to the impact of drought on communities, businesses and farmers," Mr Barilaro said.
"Working in partnership with #buyfromthebush, #Thankful4Farmers and #OneDayCloserToRain, #BuyRegional is shining a spotlight on the world-class food, craft, fashion and art on offer across our regions and the creativity and ingenuity of producers and makers in the bush.
"Business owners listed on Buy Regional are telling us that they are overwhelmed with the personal and corporate sales orders as people buy gifts, products and hampers and that even in Uralla, networks of businesses are coming together to pack gifts and send them to Sydney."
Read more: Connectivity creates opportunities
As well as buying gifts from regional retailers, Mr Barilaro encouraged Sydneysiders planning festive get-togethers and Christmas Day feasts to consider buying meat, produce and hampers from regional NSW.
"Favour the flavour of regional NSW and ask your Sydney butcher or greengrocer for meat, poultry and produce provided by NSW farmers or check out the Buy Regional hub for honey, preserves, or even fully-stocked hampers, all sourced from our regions," Mr Barilaro said. The Buy Regional for Christmas hub is at: www.nsw.gov.au/buyregional.