The lights have been switched off and doors abruptly locked at Narooma Post Office (PO) this week.
The PO closed without much warning to locals, some say they received a letter about an indefinite closure of the post office while others say it came completely out of the blue.
One Narooma resident tried to access the post office after 9am on Monday.
“I had a card in my PO Box to pick up a parcel, so I went into the Post Office to pick it up, the door was locked, there were two customers inside, when they’d finished, someone came with a key to let them out, they wouldn’t let me in, and they said ‘we’ve just received a phone call and we’ve been shut down,”
“I said ‘well how long for?’ And she said ‘I don’t know, maybe permanently.”
Australia Post has denied that the PO will close permanently.
In a letter to local residents Australia Post stated “the Narooma Branch would be shut from Monday February 5 until further notice due to unforeseen circumstances”.
East Coast Radio can now reveal those unforeseen circumstances are the detection of a lead contaminant.
An Australia Post spokesperson said the contaminant was detected in vinyl floor tiles at the back of the Narooma Post Office on Monday (February 5).
“So just erring on the side of caution they decided to get everyone out and get some professionals in to do some cleaning and testing,” the spokesperson said.
“The health and safety of our team members and customers is our number one priority. The Narooma Post Office was closed at short notice as a precautionary measure due to the detection of a lead contaminant in the back room of the post office.
“An alternate mail and collection point for customers has been arranged while we work to reopen the post office as soon as it is safe to do so. We thank customers for their patience and understanding.”
All mail and packages at the site will be cleaned and sent onto the Narooma Distribution Centre.
PO Box Mail has been re-directed to the NOWRA DC located at 1/8 Murphy Place in Narooma, with locals asked to visit the Central Tilba (2 Bate Street), Bodalla (66a Princes Highway) or Moruya (15 Church Street) PO’s between 9am-5pm Monday to Friday for all other postal and banking services.
Australia Post is at this stage unclear when the PO will open again but said local mail delivery should not be affected.
Anyone with feedback or questions for Australia Post is asked to call 13 13 18.
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